Pro Bono Spotlight - Lon Loveless
Bringing Pro Bono Legal Help to Low-income Texans
Lon Loveless is a Board Certified Family Law attorney with the Webb Family Law Firm in Dallas. Lon’s support of pro bono service is extraordinary. He serves as Chair of the Pro Bono Committee of the Family Law Section of the State Bar (2021 and 2022). For more than a quarter of a century, the Pro Bono Committee has presented Family Law Essentials Seminars (“FLES”) in connection with the three Legal Aid organizations in smaller cities throughout Texas. Attorneys attend the all-day CLE events without charge, if they agree to take two pro bono family law cases from the Legal Aid program in their area. Over the years, pro bono attorneys attending the FLES events have helped more than 10,000 low-income Texans with family law issues.
Disasters cause unique and challenging family law issues, including child custody, visitation, and child support, as well as increased incidents of domestic and sexual violence. Displacement after disasters can lead to questions regarding enforcement of protective orders, changes in child custody and visitation orders, and moving of one or both parents to another state. The FLES programs prepare pro bono attorneys to handle common issues in family law cases and also gives them the background to handle cases in the aftermath of disasters should the need arise.
Lon became involved in the FLES program soon after graduating from the University of Tulsa College of Law in 2002 and clerking for Justice Ann McClure of the Texas Eighth Court of Appeals. Since 2005, Lon has presented at many FLES events throughout Texas and has been the Course Director for several others. Lon is an interesting, knowledgeable, and entertaining speaker at the FLES events and the more than 40 other presentations he has made on a myriad of family law issues. Lon and his colleagues navigated virtual FLES presentations in 2020 and 2021. But in 2022, they decided to return to in-person Seminars, while at the same time allowing attorneys to participate virtually. These “hybrid” events turned out to be highly successful with more than 175 family law cases placed with pro bono attorneys through the three Legal Aid programs in Texas.
Lon is respected and appreciated in his roles of FLES Course Director. One Legal Aid attorney said: “As a course director for several of the FLES events in our service area, he is easy to work with, recruits great lawyers and judges to participate, and has everything prepared and organized.” Another Legal Aid attorney said: “The FLES CLEs are a great example of how projects between Legal Aid and the private bar should work. Lon makes every stage along the way a true partnership that benefits pro bono attorneys and so many of our low-income neighbors.” A State Bar leader who works with the Family Law Section to present the FLES events said: “Through his leadership of the FLES events, Lon has helped low-income Texans who otherwise would be unable to navigate our justice system.”
We asked Lon why and he and so many of his family law practitioners travel at their own expense to smaller cities throughout Texas and volunteer their time to present at the FLES events. “Family law attorneys deal with persons who are going through traumatic times. We understand how important legal representation and compassion are to clients. We understand how important it is to bring this same compassion and legal representation to low-income persons, who otherwise would have to deal with complex legal and personal issues on their own.”
Lon remembers the FLES event in Sherman in 2018, where he was Course Director. Workers at a local plant learned of the event and started raising money for Legal Aid because several of them had been helped by Legal Aid at various stages of their lives. The company (PRESCO) matched their contributions and they presented a check for $1550 to Legal Aid at the Sherman FLES event.
The Family Law Section presents the Ken Fuller Pro Bono Award each year to a lawyer “who honors the Bar and the legal profession by outstanding dedication to pro bono legal services and Texans in need.” The Section itself received the Pro Bono Service Award from the Texas Access to Justice Commission in 2017 and graciously donated the accompanying stipend to the FLES program. Past State Bar President Tom Vick spoke eloquently on pro bono service at a recent FLES in Weatherford and President-Elect Cindy Tisdale spoke at the Granbury CLE this year. Both are past Chairs of the Family Law Section.
Lon Loveless is very deserving of the Pro Bono Spotlight for his work and is symbolic of members of the Family Law Section Pro Bono Committee, the presenters, and judges who volunteer their time to participate in FLES events.