• Biography

    Laura Lee Prather is a partner in the Litigation Practice Group in the Austin office of Haynes and Boone. Laura 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. Laura 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. Laura has co-authored definitive law review articles on the Texas Citizens Participation Act with then-First Court of Appeals Justice (and now Texas  Supreme Court Justice) Jane Bland, “Bullies Beware: Safeguarding Constitutional Rights Through Anti-SLAPP In Texas,” 47 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 725 (Summer 2015), which was selected by the Texas Bar College to receive The Franklin Jones Best CLE Article in 2015, and Laura Lee Prather & Justice Jane Bland, “The Developing Jurisprudence of the Texas Citizens Participation Act,” 50 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 633 (Summer 2018). Following the last legislative update, she co-authored with Texas Tech Law Professor Rob T. Sherwin, “The Changing Landscape of the Texas Citizens Participation Act,” 52 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 163 (Winter 2020).

    Laura was instrumental in the passage of the three most significant pieces of First Amendment legislation in recent history in Texas – the reporters’ privilege, the Texas Citizens Participation Act, and the Defamation Mitigation Act. Through her efforts, Laura both formed and led the coalitions in support of all three of these measures, making Texas 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. All three laws are designed to promote and protect free speech rights in Texas.

    Laura has been named by The American Lawyer as one of the 45 best young women lawyers in the nation. She was recognized for her substantial career as a fierce advocate dedicated to preserving First Amendment rights, defending media companies in cases involving reporting on matters of public concern, and defending entertainment companies in theft of idea, trademark and copyright infringement litigation. In addition, Laura is the first woman to receive Texas Daily Newspaper Association’s “Legacy Award,” and has been named Texas Association of Broadcasters’ “Associate of the Year” and as one of Texas Lawyer’s “Extraordinary Women in Texas Law.” Her clients have recognized her as a BTI Client Service All-Star.

    Laura recently received The American Lawyer's Tony Mauro Media Lawyer Award in recognition of tireless and successful efforts advocating for legislation to strengthen First Amendment rights in Texas. George Freeman, executive director of the Media Law Resource Center, nominated Prather for the award, saying she “has changed the legal landscape for free speech rights in Texas.”

    Laura has been recognized in Chambers USA, Chambers and Partners, for Nationwide - First Amendment Litigation, 2017-2021. The Chambers guide states: Laura Prather of Haynes and Boone "is very well-versed on First Amendment law, transparency law and the appellate process," says one interviewee. Her clients include newspapers, magazines, broadcasters, television stations and production companies. Clients appreciate that "she is a dogged and determined warrior for us. She works long hours, produces high-quality work, and does a fine job with her legal writing for appeals and amicus briefs."

    In addition to her private practice, Laura has served as the program attorney for the national television shows Christina’s Court and Judge Alex, serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law in Media & Entertainment Law, and was the editor of the E-Copyright Law Handbook published by Aspen Law and Business.

    Laura works on legislative initiatives and lobbying as a member of the Texas Association of Broadcasters’ Legislative Task Force, the Public Participation Project’s National Board of Directors, the General Counsel for the Legislative Advisory Committee of the Texas Press Association, and as a co-chair of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas’ Legislative Committee. She also started and was the inaugural chair of the Media Law Resource Center’s State Legislative Committee, bringing together lawyers from virtually every state that work on legislation impacting First Amendment rights and government transparency.

    In addition, Laura was recently appointed to the Uniform Law Commission as the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Advisor to the Drafting Committee on the Anti-SLAPP Act.

  • Education and Clerkships

    • J.D., University of Texas School of Law, 1991, with honors
    • B.B.A., University of Texas at Austin, 1988, with highest honors
  • Admissions

    • Texas
    • California
    • District of Columbia
    • New York
  • Court Admissions

    • United States Supreme Court
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
    • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas