“The field of family law has experienced a tremendous expansion over the last decade, and faced substantive new legal issues.
Sometimes a career chooses a person and sometimes a person chooses a career. Liz Porter has always had an affinity for the law and chose to become a family law attorney. Porter has practiced family law exclusively for almost 17 years, and is a shareholder at KoonsFuller P.C., which is the largest family law firm in the Southwest and the fourth largest in the country. Her focus on family law has allowed her to utilize her legal expertise, insight into family dynamics and compassion for people to create successful outcomes for her clients both in and out of the courtroom.
FOUNDATION OF A FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY
Porter attended Texas A&M University for her undergraduate degree in communication and journalism. After college she immediately got married, and had her first child. “I have always had a fascination for the law,” Porter explains. “I grew up in a small town in East Texas, where my mother taught special education at my high school and my father owned several mobile home dealerships. My parents worked very hard to put my siblings and me through college. Although my parents were supportive of my decision to go to law school, I was financially on my own to do it.”
And she did.
“When I started law school, I already had one child and I was pregnant with my second who was born during my 1L spring finals,” says Porter. “I took my contract final, went almost immediately to the hospital to have the baby and then finished the remainder of my exams a few weeks later with him sitting next to me! It was crazy but all worth it!”
Becoming a busy mom soon after college certainly played a role in Porter’s interest in family law, but being from a small town also influenced her decision.
“While Dallas is my home because I have lived here my entire adult life and raised my three children here, my view of family law has been shaped in part by being from a small town where it did not matter who you were, what you did, or what you had, and we all stepped up for each other,” she says. “I grew up devoid of any judgment of another person’s personal or financial circumstances – good or bad. As you can imagine, family law cases are as unique and diverse as the individuals who are involved with them. At this point in my career, there is not much that I haven’t seen or heard, and I gain a great deal of personal satisfaction by helping clients successfully navigate their challenges regardless of their circumstances, and achieve their goals.”
MENTORS AND THE KOONSFULLER DYNAMIC
Often, attorneys have people early in their career that encourage and inspire them in their legal aspirations. Porter has had several over her career. “Among others who have supported me along the way, my mentors have been Ike Vanden Eykel, who is the managing shareholder of KoonsFuller, Kevin Fuller, Karen Turner and Dan Hagood. At different times throughout my legal career, I have looked up to each of them for their unique expertise and guidance, and I attribute much of my success to their support.”
KoonsFuller continues to be the powerhouse in every aspect of family law locally, regionally and nationally. “We have five offices in Texas and have more board-certified family lawyers than any other family law firm in Texas,” Porter says. KoonsFuller offiers a level of expertise and a range of resources unmatched by any other family law firm in the Southwest. She states, “We only hire the sharpest and most talented lawyers, who have proven to be a standout in family law. Because we work together as a fully integrated team, there’s no case too large or too complex for KoonsFuller to manage.”
KoonsFuller’s stated mission is to provide high-quality legal services and superior results for clients who demand the best family law representation possible with everything founded on unassailable integrity and an unwavering commitment to ethical business practices.
“Clients come to KoonsFuller expecting the best, and we deliver,” Porter says. “The level of talent and expertise at KoonsFuller is what really sets us apart.”
ON THE CASE
At her core, Porter wants to help clients preserve the family in the most constructive way possible, even in the most difficult cases. Porter explains, “I have a knack for contentious custody cases and high-conflict divorces. I work really well with the clients who need representation in those cases.”
She is known and respected for her expertise in managing high-conflict custody disputes, which include family violence, child support, enforcement actions, modifications of previous orders, grandparent rights, termination and paternity issues.
In addition to custody issues, Porter’s family law expertise includes divorce litigation, both contested and non-contested, high net worth client representation, complex property divisions, pre- and post-marital agreements, and she is also trained in collaborative law. She handles all types and sizes of divorce cases from very high-profile individuals to those who struggle to make ends meet. She is also a strong advocate for mediation.
Now that she is well into her second decade in family law, Porter continues to display an intense passion for her work and a steely resolve for her clients. “I am passionate about family law because of the complexity of each of the cases,” Porter says, “and how I can help them navigate through the divorce process and move on with their lives.”
Her years of focus in family law have Porter looking to the horizon of emerging issues that continue to affect her field. “The field of family law has experienced a tremendous expansion over the last decade, and faced substantive new legal issues,” she says. “For example, in 2015 same-sex marriage was established as law in all 50 states which had a huge impact.”
Additionally, she points out that with the recent tax reform act, the treatment of alimony will be changed significantly, which will no doubt impact how property divisions are structured. “It is these ever-changing areas in the law that impact how we approach and resolve family law matters and keeps things interesting,” Porter adds.
OUTSIDE THE OFFICE
Outside the office, Porter’s three children are her primary focus. Her oldest child, Faye, is graduating from the University of Texas in Austin in May and has applied to medical school. “We are currently waiting to find out where she will go in the fall,” Porter says, “so it has been a bit nerve-racking to say the least.”
Emery, her middle child is a freshman at Texas Tech in the engineering program, and her youngest, Tom, is a freshman at Highland Park High School. Porter is very active with her children and spends as much time with them as they allow!
In her free time, Porter enjoys running, hot yoga and travel. She and her husband, Gary, who have been married almost four years, also enjoy traveling together, riding motorcycles and spending as many weekends as possible at their lake house on Lake Jacksonville where they water ski, jet ski and enjoy the outdoors. The self-professed animal lover counts birds, dogs, fish, a cat, lizards and a turtle among her menagerie at one time or another, and any stray that wanders upon Porter’s home is always welcome too. In fact, one of her favorite gifts from a client was two white love birds, who very quickly have produced a family of their own.
Having gone through a divorce herself, Porter has her own perspective on the process. She explains, “I was married for 17 years when I got divorced. I know that divorces can be complicated and emotional. Having gone through it, I can relate. My experience certainly has had an impact on how I view other people going through a divorce and the compassion I feel for them.”
Porter finishes, “What I have learned both personally and professionally is that relationships do not end at divorce, especially when children are involved. I encourage clients to build a working relationship with their ex-spouses for the sake of their children, when possible. If there is such thing as a successful divorce, that would be it.”