Kirk and Liz knew each other as far back as elementary school and began dating his freshman year in high school. Liz graduated a year ahead of Kirk and went to Texas Tech University while he attended Baylor University. They maintained a long distance romance and, after Liz finished college at Texas Tech and Kirk started law school, they were married in 1979.
After law school, the two moved to Austin where Liz worked as a TV news reporter and anchor and Kirk began his legal career.
The Watsons have two sons, Preston and Cooper. Preston is married to Catherine Edsel Watson. Preston and Catherine are the parents of Senator Watson’s first grandchild, Effie. Preston has a BA and MBA and works in the tech industry in Austin. Cooper has undergraduate degrees in physics and mechanical engineering. He’s in a PhD program in physics.
After law school, Kirk clerked for a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Austin. Liz worked as a TV news reporter and anchor. During his clerkship, Kirk worked on a variety of issues that came before the court. One of the cases he most enjoyed addressed challenges to the Texas Legislature’s 1981 Congressional redistricting.
Kirk then went to work with a law firm that gave him a chance to become a courtroom advocate. He went on to create a broad law practice, representing families, doctors, small businesses and some of the state’s major universities. His firm employed 13 people and left Kirk with an appreciation for the importance of small Texas business owners – the economic value they represent for Texas and the challenges they face fueling the economy and providing for their employees.
He’s also spent a lot of time resolving contentious legal disputes as a mediator.
Kirk was elected President of the Texas Young Lawyers Association, presided as Chair of the State Bar Committee on Legal Services to the Poor in Civil Matters, was the Texas Representative to the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, and served on the State Bar of Texas Executive Committee. Kirk was also named the Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas. He’s been consistently recognized as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” and one of Texas Monthly’s “Superlawyers”.