Johnson City Press: Lawson answers questions on career and work stress
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Lawson answers questions on career and work stress

Robert Houk • May 27, 2019 at 12:00 AM

Washington County Clerk and Master Sarah Lawson is a Rogersville native and a graduate of East Tennessee State University.

She obtained her law degree from Cumberland School of Law in 2005, and practiced law for 11 years in Mountain City. She also served as municipal judge for Mountain City and worked as a delinquent tax attorney for Johnson County.

She took office as clerk and Master on July 1, 2016, after beng appointed to the job by Judge John C. Rambo, chancellor for the First Judicial District.

Lawson has been married to Russell Minatel for seven years.

Fast Facts

Dog or cat person: “I love both. I have two dogs, Ginger and Pullo.”

Ideal vacation spot: “I really want to go an Alaskan cruise.”

Favorite movie: “The Empire Strikes Back.”

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR JOB?

As the Chancery Court clerk and master for Washington County, I am charged with filing and entering documents, pleadings, papers and exhibits; investing funds; attending court; keeping a docket; administering oaths; preparing court records; and collecting revenues. I sit as a judge in probate matters to oversee the probate of wills and the administration of estates. As a special master, I hear matters at a preliminary level before the case goes to trial.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE?

My proudest professional achievement is being appointed clerk and master of Washington County by Chancellor John Rambo. There were many great candidates who applied and interviewed. To be chosen for the position was truly an honor.

WHAT IS THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR WORKDAY?

Adoptions are by far the best and most joyful part of the workday. Seeing families legally cement the relationship they have formed with each other is an indescribable and enormous joy.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE EMBARKING ON A CAREER IN PUBLIC SERVICE?

Always put yourself in the position of the person you are helping.

HOW DO YOU COPE WITH STRESS?

I have chosen a profession that is inherently stressful, and I try very hard to compartmentalize that stress and leave it at work. The stress that I take home is dealt with by listening to music, crocheting and being with my family, friends and dogs.

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