J. Reid Porter was honored at St. Mary’s University School of Law’s Homecoming Reunion as the 2011 Distinguished Young Alumnus. Annually, St. Mary’s recognizes an alumnus, who has graduated in the last ten years, and has already begun making his mark in the legal profession.
“St. Mary’s Law Alumni Association has selected a young man who has made it his life’s work to marry these two principles we hold dear – the legal profession and service to the community,” said Charles E. Cantú, dean of St. Mary’s School of Law. “Reid is a role model our students can aspire to.”
Porter, a 2002 graduate, quickly became a successful attorney with well-known civil litigation firms in Dallas. As a member of St. Mary’s Law Alumni Association, he was instrumental in the forming the first Law Alumni Association chapter in Dallas, which has served as a model for local chapters throughout the state and the country.
Despite these accomplishments, things changed for Reid as he began mentoring a young boy in West Dallas and then travelled to India with International Justice Mission to work with lawyers combating child prostitution and bonded slavery. His commitment to social justice work grew and he left his position as a partnership-track, civil litigation associate as a downtown Dallas law firm and founded Advocates for Community Transformation, known as ACT. ACT is a faith-based, inner city justice ministry in West Dallas seeking justice for the oppressed and under-served residents. Founder and president, Porter also functions as organization’s general counsel.
“ACT, what we are doing in West Dallas, is based on the same foundation as the law school – to seek justice and intervene on behalf of the oppressed,” said Porter. “Pouring out our legal skills on the behalf of others is the work we’re doing in West Dallas. I am thankful to receive this award and thankful to be a part of the St. Mary’s School of Law.”