According to 4- and 7-year-old Emma and Abby, their mother, Lori Reeves received the “Fairy Godmother” award earlier this year.
Although that isn’t technically its name, the Fairy Davenport Rutland Award, presented by the State Bar of Texas Child Abuse and Neglect Committee, does honor traits comparable to those of a fairy godmother.
Reeves, a 12-year attorney, received the award for her distinguished service to children and families.
Named after a founding member and chair of the committee, the Rutland award annually honors a Texas attorney who has made a substantial contribution to advocacy for abused and neglected children.
“I’ve always had an affinity for kids,” Reeves said. “As a family lawyer, I have the chance to do something to help children… They are my focus, and I always try to get everybody to think in the best interest of the kids.
“People aren’t always nice to you, especially in CPS cases,” she continued. “You are considered the bad guy who’s taking their kids away. But you do what you do to help that child.”
Child Protective Service cases make up 40 percent of Reeves’ practice. Currently she has 19 active CPS cases.
In addition to being an ad litem and mediator on CPS cases in Wise, Jack and Montague counties since 2003, Reeves has also volunteered with Legal Aid of Northwest Texas for the past seven years and with Denton Alternative Dispute Resolution Program as a mediator since 2003.
She has logged more than 50 pro bono hours this year and will have volunteered 32 hours as a certified mediator by the end of the year.
Even her “free” time centers around helping children. Since 2004, Reeves has served on the board of directors for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Wise and Jack Counties, as vice president the last three years and as treasurer and president previously.
As a six-year member of the Decatur Junior Woman’s Club, she has helped organize City on the Hill 5K Run/Walk, Wise Hoops, Spirit of Christmas, Park Pals and the Daddy/Daughter Dance.
“Lori’s heart is big enough not only for her very own two little girls but for all of the kids who have been brought into her life for whatever reason,” said Mary Lois Spain-Sipes, associate attorney at The Reeves Law Firm. “She is one of the most caring and passionate people that I know. In addition to being an advocate for children, I could not have asked for a better mentor when I started my legal career in the area of family law.”
After moving to Texas following her graduation from high school in Missouri, Reeves began her undergraduate studies as a drama major at the University of North Texas in Denton.
She eventually switched to nearby Texas Woman’s University for their paralegal program.
“My grandmother kept on me, saying I needed to go to law school,” she said.
After a few serendipitous pieces fell into place, that’s what she did. Reeves enrolled in night school at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, now Texas A&M University School of Law, and graduated three-and-a-half years later, in December of 2000.
After becoming licensed to practice in November of the following year, she worked at a Denton law firm for almost two years before opening her practice in Decatur on St. Patrick’s Day of 2003.
And she plans to stay here.
“This is the only place I’ve ever considered my hometown,” Reeves said. “Since my dad was in the Navy and we moved around a lot, I didn’t have one growing up … Decatur is a good place to work, live and raise kids. There’s nothing to get me to leave.”