Judge Lora Livingston
District Judge, 261st Civil District Court, Travis County, Texas
Judge Livingston is a 1982 graduate of the UCLA School of Law. She began her legal career as a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellow assigned to the Legal Aid Society of Central Texas in Austin, Texas. After completion of the two-year fellowship, she continued to work in the area of poverty law until she entered private practice with an emphasis on family law. She was an Associate at the law firm of Joel B. Bennett, P.C., and a partner at the law firm Livingston & Parr. She began her judicial service as an Associate Judge for the District Courts of Travis County, Texas and after her successful election, Judge Livingston was sworn in as Judge of the 261st District Court in January 1999. Her judicial colleagues elected her to serve as the Local Administrative District Judge for the Travis County Courts and she led the council of judges for nine years. Her crowning achievement was overseeing the design and construction of the new Travis County Civil and Family Courts Facility (CFCF). She is the first African American woman to serve on a district court in Travis County, Texas. Judge Livingston retired in 2022 and is now serving in the judiciary as a Senior Judge.
Judge Livingston has dedicated her legal career to promoting access to justice for all. She has served on the boards of the Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation, Texas Access to Justice Commission, Texas Center for the Judiciary, National Association of IOLTA Programs, and the American Bar Endowment. She is a member of the National Bar Association and the National Association of Women Judges. She is the Texas State Delegate to the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association and has served on the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants (SCLAID), the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, and the ABA Judicial Division. She has been active in the Austin Bar Association, the Austin Black Lawyers Association, and the Travis County Women Lawyers Association. She is also a proponent of pro bono activities and she has served on the Board of Volunteer Legal Services (formerly Austin Lawyers Care). She was instrumental in the establishment of the Travis County Self Help Center for self-represented litigants and her support for access to justice initiatives is unwavering. Since her retirement, she has served as the Interim Director of the Texas Access to Justice Commission.
Judge Livingston is a frequent speaker on administrative, procedural, ethical, and substantive legal issues. She served as Dean of the College for New Judges (Texas) and as an Adjunct in the Practice Court program at the Baylor University School of Law. She especially enjoys teaching trial advocacy skills to law students.
Judge Livingston has received a number of awards including: the Outstanding Attorney award from the Travis County Women Lawyers Association, the Texas Access to Justice Commission Pro Bono Champion Award, the Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation Harold F. Kleinman Award, the Texas Center for the Judiciary Exemplary Judicial Faculty Award, the Lone Star Girl Scouts Council Women of Distinction Award, the Austin Independent School District Community Service Award, the Lotus Award from Asian Family Support Services, the Distinguished Service Award from the National Center for State Courts, the Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association, the Jurisprudence Award from the Anti-Defamation League of Austin, the Distinguished Jurist Award from the African American Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Texas, and the Distinguished Lawyer Award from the Austin Bar Association.
An active member of the Austin community, Judge Livingston has served on the boards of the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, Capital Area Food Bank, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Austin Tenants Council, Central East Austin Community Organization, YMCA, Austin Area Urban League, El Buen Samaritano, and the Seminary of the Southwest. Judge Livingston is also a graduate of Leadership Austin.
Academy of the Advocate at St Andrews, The School of the Advocate