Professor Kathryn A. Watts, the Jack R. MacDonald Endowed Chair, writes about presidential control over the regulatory state, as well as the interaction between federal courts and agencies. She also writes about U.S. Supreme Court decision making. Professor Watts's scholarship has been published in a variety of top journals, including the Yale Law Journal, the Harvard Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, the NYU Law Review, the Duke Law Journal, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the UCLA Law Review, and the Northwestern University Law Review. Her article "Agency Rules with the Force of Law: The Original Convention," which she co-authored with Professor Thomas Merrill, was recognized in 2003 with the ABA's Annual Scholarship Award for the best published work in the administrative law field that year.
Professor Watts teaches courses in administrative law, presidential power, constitutional law, and Supreme Court decision making. Her teaching has been recognized by the student body, which has twice voted to award her the Philip A. Trautman Professor of the Year Award.
Professor Watts earned her J.D., summa cum laude, from Northwestern University School of Law, where she earned the John Paul Stevens Prize for Academic Excellence for graduating first in her class and the Raoul Berger Prize for her senior research paper on the history of general rulemaking grants. After graduating from law school, Professor Watts clerked for Judge A. Raymond Randolph of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Justice John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court, and she practiced as an associate at Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago. Since joining UW Law in 2007, Professor Watts has served as a member of the Council of the Administrative and Regulatory Practice Section of the American Bar Association and also as Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development at UW Law.