Haynes and Boone, LLP proudly congratulates Partner Laura Prather for being honored as a Fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists. It is the highest professional honor given by the Society and is awarded for extraordinary contributions to the profession. Prather joins the ranks of journalism legends like Walter Cronkite and Katharine Graham in receiving this honor.
Selection as a Fellow is granted to very few non-journalists and is a testament to Prather’s outstanding work as a lawyer, both in the courtroom and before the legislature, and to the respect she commands within the media industry.
“There is no one who has had a greater positive impact on the ability of journalists to do their jobs in the state of Texas than Laura Prather,” said past fellow recipient Lucy Dalglish. “And in recent years, she has achieved a national profile that I anticipate will grow as time moves on.”
Recognized as one of the top 45 women attorneys in the nation by The American Lawyer, Prather has dedicated her career to advocating for protections in the law for the freedom of speech for journalists both in the courtroom and at the legislature.
At the firm, Prather is head of the Media Law Practice Group. She focuses her practice on First Amendment, anti-SLAPP, intellectual property and media and entertainment litigation and appeals. She has significant government relations experience as an advocate at the Texas Legislature on First Amendment and open government concerns. Prather advises an extensive array of content providers including online and traditional newspapers, magazines, radio and broadcasters, cable television stations, production companies and music and sports entities.
Prather was instrumental in the passage of the four most significant pieces of First Amendment legislation in recent history in Texas – the reporters’ privilege, the Texas Citizens Participation Act, the Defamation Mitigation Act, and the neutral reportage privilege. Prather was the primary draftsman for each of these measures and both formed and led the coalitions in support of all four of these initiatives. As a result, Texas has become the 37th state to pass a reporters’ privilege, the 28th state to adopt an Anti-SLAPP statute, and the 32nd state to enact a retraction statute.