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William Nelson Watkins Jr

Divorce and separation Attorney at Torrance, CA

4.8   26 reviews
Free consultation
Free consultation
  • Licensed for 22 years
    State CA
    Acquired 2001
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About William

Learn William’s areas of practice.



William Watkins has been a lawyer since 2001, and has over a decade of experience at finding effective solutions to his client’s problems.  Mr. Watkins specializes in all areas of family law including dissolution of marriage, legal separation, child custody, paternity, child support, spousal support, property division, and settlement negotiations.


As an experienced estate planning attorney, Mr. Watkins also devotes a substantial amount of time to preparing Living Trusts, Wills, Powers of Attorney and other estate planning tools to meet his clients’ inheritance and family planning needs.  Mr. Watkins prides himself on educating his clients on their options and providing them with cost-effective plans that will protect their families, protect their assets, and reduce their stress.


Before starting his own law practice, Mr. Watkins gained valuable experience practicing corporate, municipal, and redevelopment law at large and prestigious large firms in San Diego and the greater Los Angeles area.  Mr. Watkins handled complex transactions for clients that were primarily corporations, cities, and public agencies.  He successfully negotiated real estate development transactions, drafted agreements for property acquisition and the development of commercial, industrial, and family housing projects.


After spending years “helping the rich (company) get richer”, Mr. Watkins discovered that his true passion is family law and estate planning, which allows him to work one-on-one with ordinary people to improve their lives.  Because of his big firm experience, Mr. Watkins is confident that he can find solutions for his clients’ problems, no matter how difficult or complex.


Besides having a wealth of legal expertise, Mr. Watkins prides himself on being a “people’s person”, an effective listener, and a great communicator.  Passionate about language learning and effective communication, Mr. Watkins is fluent in Spanish and proficient in French.


Mr. Watkins is an Ivy League graduate of Columbia University in New York, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics in 1998.  Mr. Watkins earned his Juris Doctor degree from the UCLA School of Law in 2001.  



Client's Choice 2021,2018
Client's Choice
2021 2018


Law Offices of William N. Watkins
21250 Hawthorne Blvd.
Suite 500
Torrance, CA, 90503


4.8 / 5.0
  26 customer reviews
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Client's Choice 2021
Client's Choice
Client's Choice is an Avvo award granted to attorneys with a significant number of client reviews over 4 stars in a given year.
Posted by Deon Watson | January 17, 2014
Exceptional Child Support Attorney
Will was a great attorney who helped me avoid overpaying the County over $20,000 in "arrears" even though my son lived with me full-time. Will basically helped me prove without a shadow of a doubt that my son's mother engaged in welfare fraud in order to get benefits even though she wasn't even raising our son. He was also able to reverse a garnishment that was occurring at my job and through it all he was always patient and willing to listen to me, even when I just wanted to vent. All in all, I can't recommend him highly enough.
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Posted by Edwin | June 6, 2013
Outstanding Attorney - Do yourself a favor and hire Mr. Watkins
I was very fortunate to find Will Watkins and to have him agree to represent me in my recent litigious divorce. Not only is Mr. Watkins knowledgeable and courteous, he also defended my interests with the ferocity and determination that you would expect from a family member. Having narrowly averted a financial catastrophe with a previous attorney, I cannot stress enough that you would do yourself a favor to stop reading this review and hire Mr. Watkins immediately before he is too busy to take any more cases. If you choose to continue reading, I will give you a few details about my case and my experience with Mr. Watkins in the paragraphs below that I hope will give you an idea of the caliber of attorney that he is. Although my ex-wife, who is well-educated and has extensive work experience, and I had a short-term marriage with no children nor real property, she requested spousal support in excess of 50 percent of my salary. While my previous attorney showed as much interest in my case as an eight-year-old during mass, Will listened intently to the particulars of my case with the focus of a detective. After deliberating for a few moments over his notes, he proceeded to dismantle the opposing counsel's absurd argument for their exorbitant alimony request and explained, in simple layman's terms, a common sense strategy to defend my interests. In retrospect, Will's simple but effective approach to argue my case is not surprising when you consider that he keeps a copy of the ancient military tactician Sun Tzu's The Art of War on his desk. There is little doubt that I would have faced a disastrous financial result had I remained with my previous attorney. In the few weeks it took Will to resolve my case, he kept me informed every step of the way. All my emails were answered promptly and he was always happy to take my phone calls and address any concerns I had. Moreover, Will was always well-versed in the details of my case. While divorce can be a stressful ordeal, Mr. Watkins' competent handling of my case conveyed such an infectious sense of calm that I often forgot that our case was pending. On one occasion, I suggested that we use a vocational examiner to determine whether my ex-wife could potentially earn a higher income than she earned at the time, thus absolving me of any financial responsibility to her. He advised me that such a strategy was unlikely to be beneficial in our case and would likely result in additional fees in excess of four thousand dollars. To reiterate, Will passed on an opportunity to earn additional legal fees to protect me from needless expenditure. While many attorneys cite the number of years they have practiced their profession, no amount of experience can substitute for the integrity of a good man who is honestly concerned with the best interests of his client. To my great satisfaction, my ex-wife and I settled for a meager fraction of the amount of spousal support that she originally demanded. There is no question that such a beneficial settlement would not have been possible had it not been for the formidable efforts of my attorney. Nevertheless, in spite of seeing my case reach a conclusion well beyond my expectations, Will was not satisfied. He was of the opinion that an even more favorable outcome had been possible. Even though I could not be happier with the outcome of my case, my attorney was not satisfied! I realize that a better writer would have given you a more eloquent account of my experience with such an excellent attorney but if you take nothing else from this review, know this: Will Watkins is a knowledgeable, responsive, and courteous professional and it is my pleasure to wholeheartedly recommend him as your attorney. People like him give the law profession a good name.
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Posted by Luis | February 26, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Real professional
He explained everything thoroughly, my statements were broken down clearly to understand the charges.
Posted by Charityn | May 3, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Mr.Watkins, was referred to me by a friend due to his amazing work! Mr.Watkins, has gone above and beyond since the very first day. He made sure to answer every question I had throughout the process of my child support case. His exceptional work and ethics show in the court room when it comes to getting you what you deserve. He not only helped me to modify my child support amount but he also made sure that the arrears were included in our request. I would recommend him to anyone that is in need of a family law attorney!
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Posted by anonymous | August 31, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
My only regret is that I did find Will sooner
I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Watkins on a custody issue with a judge with a reputation for being biased. Not only did Mr. Watkins provide strategy options but he elicited my input at every stage of the process: from consultation to filing and-- ultimately-- the courtroom hearing. He showed up to court prepared and was intuitive with the change of judge and judge demeanor. He kept me informed throughout the process and was always one email or phone call away in the event I had question, which was a refreshing change from both self-representing and having had an inexperienced attorney in the past. My only regret is that I did not find Mr. Watkins sooner as he is extremely professional, experienced and well-versed in Family law. We crossed paths at a time whereby I was completely frustrated with the legal system, and he made my filing as stress-free as possible considering the sensitive and pressing matters at hand. Ultimately, I won my petition and would not hesitate to contact Mr. Watkins should the need arise in the future and would strongly recommend his legal services to my friends and associates.
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Posted by Norm | June 17, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
An excellent attorney
Mr. Watkins has assisted me with a divorce, the creation of a living trust, and currently an amendment to my living trust. His expertise greatly facilitated each of these complex processes. One of his greatest strengths is his ability to really hear the client's concerns and craft an appropriate strategy.
Posted by Claudia | May 16, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Mom Attacked and Overwhelmed by Ex Husband until Mr. Watkins Stepped In
You learn a lot going through these things as Mother who would start shaking each time my ex threatened to take me to court over my child if he didn't get his way. The day he did file, he waged pure hatred in his allegations towards me and accused me of everything under the sun to make me appear as a terrible mother and even lied to the Judge to make me look like an abuser and negligent parent. My child is straight A student and healthy as I am. Regardless, this type of attack works really well in court. They call this 'Mud Slinging' when one spouse attacks the other with severe allegations and even lies to the judge. Its a tactic, the Judges hates mud slinging and when you responds to allegations to try and prove your innocence the court time is spent on you defending yourself and you appear evil. The remaining time that is left in court basically forces a flustered Judge to go into automatic mode and simply ignore everything you say and give the accuser everything they ask for. In my case, my ex paid no child support, has a criminal record, is an alcoholic with anger issues and still I faced a judge ready to give him full visitation and even more custody rights and anything else he asked for despite who he was. And if I brought these things up with the judge, my ex would simply accuse me more and lie of anything else he could make up and the Judge would listen. This is called deflecting, when a terrible person who may even have substance abuse issues attacks you first or each time you say anything about them in order to pull the attention away from themselves and back onto you. This tactic works because it flusters the Judge and the Judge goes in to automatic mode and simply makes fast decisions based on what they 'usually do' and they simply ignore the accused. Mr. Watkins is not like most attorneys that I have hired in the past who simply would spend my time and money responding to allegations and then sit back and hope for the best while I got torn apart by my ex and the Judge in court over lies. Mr. Watkins is a strategist and is able to turn these attacks around and use them against the attacker in court. This made all the difference in the world and many times Mr. Watkins avoided flustering the Judge so he could focus on what was truly best for me and my daughter to flourish. Mr. Watkins unlike other attorneys made it clear to me from our very first discussion that he was 'MY ATTORNEY' and when he went into court Mr. Watkins took the gloves off and pounded back and made his own demands on my behalf from my ex. I can say, that despite the long and stressful process that I just went through in both Child Custody Court and Child Support Court that it was Mr. Watkins being there the entire time that I attribute to the success that I feel we walked away with in 'both' courts. My daughter and I no-longer have to feel scared or threatened by my ex husband whose is now on a leash under the Judges orders and we are free to flourish and thrive without having a person who only cares about themselves dictated our lives with threats. I truly believe my ex fears Mr. Watkins in court and is less likely to try this again and hopefully betters himself and follows the court orders for the sake of our child. But if he does not, we will be waiting for him with Mr. Watkins. As a woman and mother I recommend to other women and mothers struggling with their ex spouses that you hire this man Mr. William Watkins to defend you because he really will.
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Posted by Fred | May 14, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Fred Johnson's review of William Watkins
William consulted me continuously with great advice during my divorce process over the last four years. He also compiled a very detailed and thorough Living trust and will for me and my family. Wil's rates are very reasonable, and his professionalism is outstanding.
Posted by Jacquelyn | May 12, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Professional and reliable Lawyer
William was very professional and reliable. He was very thorough and attentive to my case. He is knowledgeable, detailed-oriented, clear and concise. He answered all of my questions and concerns in a timely manner and was always punctual to my hearings. He was enjoyable to work with him
Posted by Pamela | May 12, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Will, durable power of attorney, medical package
I hired attorney Watkins. Excellent is what I selected. Very thorough and detailed in his work; outstanding in his explanation and he accomplished the task I requested. I appreciate his workmanship. Outstanding young man!
Posted by Regina | January 6, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great lawyer
Great and fast service. William was very helpful. I would definitely recommend to a friend or family!
Posted by Melanie | July 29, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent and knowledgeable attorney
I'm so happy that I found Mr. William Watkins. He is a very patient, honest and hardworking attorney. He understands my budget and has helped me do the most with it, never overcharging for services and suggesting ways for me to save some money. He has fought hard and strategically for the return of joint custody of my child. Also able to come to a fair agreement for child support. I am so grateful for having him fighting for me and my child and would recommend him to anyone in need of a reasonable and compassionate attorney.
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Posted by Gianna | July 1, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Overall a great experience!
I have had the pleasure of having Mr. Watkins as my representation not once but twice! He made my whole custody a smooth ride. I had went to court for custody a couple times prior to hiring a lawyer and I was always afraid I didn’t do something right. Mr Watkins helped with everything and always answered any questions I had and responded back in a timely matter. He listened to all the info I provided him and helped me through the whole process. We had a great outcome of getting what is in the best interest of my child. Thank you for everything I cannot express how much he has helped!
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Posted by Carl | March 23, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Who and What you Need.
Well lets Just state the Facts. I live in Indianapolis,IN. I Call Mr. Watkins. We Spoak over the Phone. I'll just say everything he said he Would do He Did 110%. Mr. Watkins Said He Would call He did ,He did what he said he do and even more Not one Time Did I Not get what He Said he Would Send. His charges were Great as well on top of all i needed him to do. And I would Just Like to Say Thanks You Mr. Watkins for a Job Well Done Sir. Mr. Clayborn CR
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Posted by anonymous | March 17, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
William was hired for an in state move away order that involved a Parenting Plan Assesement II held a social worker to make custody recommendations. William was profession, knowledgeable, and a great communicator. Most importantly, William listened to the issues and gave us options in dealing with the challenges of a move away order. Ultimately, William guided us to a successful move away order, and we were very happy with his service.
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Posted by anonymous | October 17, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great attorney
I hired Mr Watkins to assist me in preparing for a five day move away custody trial complete with 730 and 733 custody experts. He understands the law really well. I hired him on very short notice and he fully supported me with a dress rehearsal for trial, completed all my paperwork with great quality, and offered support during trial. I wish I found him a long time ago. My money was limited and I really couldn’t afford him representing me at trial but I feel what I paid him was very well spent. Hire Mr Watkins, you won’t be disappointed.
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Posted by anonymous | September 28, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Worth It!
Will is very professional and goes to great lengths to make sure he does for his clients! I’m from Southern California but my case was in Central California and Will made every court date and fought hard. He is very knowledgeable about his craft and I trust him!
Posted by Regina | September 27, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Reliable lawyer
Mr. Watkins was reliable, honest, straightforward, professional and efficient. He is the best lawyer I have ever had so far. I would definitely recommend him to all my friends and families.
Posted by anonymous | July 3, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Professional and Efficient
Mr Watkins represented me as a divorce attorney over a lengthy separation. As a physician, I had many time constraints that would not allow me to be physically present to file paperwork or attend court. Thankfully, Mr. Watkins and his team filled in where necessary and provided clear and timely communication through an unfamiliar process. I am very pleased with his work and would highly recommend his services.
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Posted by anonymous | June 26, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Child Custody
Contacted, consulted and hired for two Child Custody Cases. Price was very reasonable. Would definitely recommend to anyone.
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  • Free Consultation 30 minutes
  • Hourly Rates $ 110-300 per hour
  • Retainer Always
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 8.2 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Attorney
  • Law Offices of William N. Watkins
  • 2014 - 2015
  • Attorney
  • Cannon Legal Group
  • 2012 - 2014
  • Project Manager
  • City of Carson
  • 2009 - 2012
  • Attorney
  • Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth
  • 2002 - 2009
  • Attorney
  • Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich
  • 2001 - 2002
View all work experience


  • University of California at Los Angeles School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2001
  • Columbia University
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1998


  • American Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2001 - Present
  • State Bar of California
  • Member
  • 2001 - Present
  • Pasadena Bar Association
  • Treasurer/Secretary
  • 2006 - 2007

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Spanish

Honors and Awards

  • Alumnus of the Year
  • UCLA BLSA Society
  • 2011


  • San Fernando Valley Bar Association
  • Nuts and Bolts of Estate Planning
  • 2012

Speaking Engagements

  • Cannon Legal Group Speaker Series
  • Estate Planning Pitfalls to Avoid
  • 2013

Attorney endorsements

Received (3)
Given (3)
Endorse William
Divorce and separation Attorney | Nov 27
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Jul 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Will is an experienced and committed advocate on behalf of his clients."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Jul 15
Relationship: Co-worker
"I have known Will for over 12 years and worked with him for 5 years. He is very smart, trustworthy and attentive. A pleasure to work with. I highly recommend him."
Public finance and tax exempt finance
Divorce and separation