First Amendment attorney Laura Prather is a finalist for the 2019 Excellence in Advocacy Awards by the Professional Women in Advocacy Conference (“PWAC”).
The award process is in the public endorsement period when colleagues, clients and fellow First Amendment advocates are encouraged to take to social media to endorse a nominee with posts celebrating her accomplishments and advocacy work. The endorsement period ends this Friday, Aug. 16. Supporters may visit the PWAC Facebook page, www.facebook.com/womeninadvocacy, to endorse her nomination.
There were eighty-one nominees this year. Peer judges, women working in government relations, advocacy and public affairs, narrowed down the list to just three finalists in each category. In honor of her work during the recent Texas Legislative session, Prather is a finalist in the “Excellence in a State Issue Campaign” for those who have "successfully impacted the outcome of a state or local legislative or regulatory problem or opportunity on behalf of their cause, issue, client, organization or coalition.”
Honored with the 2018 James Madison Award, Prather is a board member and past president of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas and a partner in the litigation section at Haynes and Boone, LLP in Austin. Her practice includes First Amendment, intellectual property and media/entertainment litigation and appeals.
Fellow advocates for free speech and press rights have described Prather as “a fierce and effective defender” of the First Amendment and government transparency. As an advocate at the Texas Legislature for free speech and open government, Prather was instrumental in the passage of the three most significant pieces of First Amendment legislation in recent history: the reporter’s privilege (shield law) the Texas Citizens Participation Act (anti-SLAPP act) and the Defamation Mitigation Act (outlining a process for corrections that, if followed, can greatly reduce liability).
She was instrumental in several major successes in the recent Texas legislature, when bills passed to repair damage inflicted by the Texas Supreme Court’s Boeing and Greater Houston Partnership rulings; require governmental entities to disclose information about contracts for concerts and other public events funded by taxpayer dollars; and close the so-called “custodian loophole” that some officials use to hide public information on their private devices.
According to advocates working on behalf of Prather, the “Public Endorsement” phase is intended to let the public participate in celebrating the finalists and learn about their work. The PWAC will monitor and keep track of the finalists with the most activity. In the event of a tie in the final round of judging, the public endorsement results could help determine the winner.
Some of the different platforms and handles that are being monitored include:
Twitter - @womeninadvocacy, #PWIA2019, #EIA2019
Facebook – www.facebook.com/womeninadvocacy
Instagram – womeninadvocacy
Linked In – Women in Advocacy