Joe Watson is a lifelong resident of Greenville, SC. He attended Greenville Public Schools, then went on to earn his bachelor’s degree from Furman University in 1975, and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina in 1978. He was admitted to the SC bar that same year. Upon graduation, Watson worked as an Assistant Solicitor in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit under Billy Wilkins and Bill Traxler. In 1982, Watson decided to leave the Solicitors office and establish a private law practice.

On May 3, 1985, the Honorable Richard W. Riley, Governor of South Carolina, appointed Watson as Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor to fill the unexpired term of William B. Traxler, Jr. In 1986, 1990, and 1994, Watson was elected to serve four year terms as Solicitor of Pickens and Greenville counties.

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