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The Honorable Choice

THE PLATFORM

LaTonya has a 3-D platform. She believes that people’s opinion of the court system derives from their experiences inside and outside of court.

Whether practicing law, sitting as a Special Judge, or attending a sporting event, I strive to treat everyone with respect, courtesy and human equality.”

As such, if elected, she plans to use judicial knowledge and DISCRETION to help DECREASE the negative perception of and distrust in the court system, while reaching a fair DISPOSITION of the cases in her court. LaTonya’s personal and professional experiences have taught her how to do this in a way that will transform the public’s opinion of the judiciary as a whole. 

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THE PERSON

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With a broad range of legal experience, passion and great determination, LaTonya is uniquely qualified and suited for this judicial seat. Beginning her legal career by writing appellate briefs for the criminal division of the Arkansas Attorney General's office under Mark Pryor, LaTonya learned a lot of the do's and dont's of criminal trial practice. Then she began serving the citizens of Pulaski County by prosecuting criminal cases under Larry Jegley until she began defending the same types of cases all across the State of Arkansas (especially in Pulaski County) as a Public Defender and then as a private attorney for The Austin Law Firm, PLLC. In private practice, she, with the assistance of her mother and Office Manager, Fran Kelley, focuses heavily on Family Law, Probate Law, Civil Litigation and Criminal Defense. LaTonya has practiced law in State (District and Circuit) and Federal Courts all across the State. 

She has had and continues to have the opportunity to sit as a Special Judge in multiple District and Circuit Courts in Pulaski County over the last 9 years.  She has also been a Neutral Hearing Officer for the Pulaski County Housing Agency, hearing Housing Choice Voucher appeals regarding program eligibility and termination. 

QUALIFIED
Austin is a Little Rock native and Honor graduate of Little Rock Central High School and the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where she obtained her Bachelors Degree in Psychology. She attended and graduated from the UALR Bowen School of Law as a Bowen Scholar. With a broad range of legal experience, passion and great determination, LaTonya is uniquely qualified and suited for this judicial seat. She has practiced criminal law in State (District and Circuit) and Federal Courts all across Arkansas and has sat as a Special Judge in multiple District Courts in Pulaski County over the last 8 years.

PASSIONATE
LaTonya Laird Austin is a wife to Lee Honorable, mother, sister, daughter, and friend. She is an active member of the St. Luke Baptist Church in North Little Rock, as well as the Pulaski County Bar Association, Volunteer Organization of Center for Arkansas Legal Services (VOCALS), eStem Community Association, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Board Member of the Arkansas Learning Alliance, Inc., Positive People Promotions, Inc., and other community organizations. 

EXPERIENCED
Austin has served in the following capacities over the length of her legal career:

  • Writing appellate briefs for the criminal division of the Arkansas Attorney General's office under Mark Pryor

  • Deputy Prosecutor under Pulaski County Judge Larry Jegley

  • Deputy Public Defender for Pulaski County

  • Private defense attorney for The Austin Law Firm, PLLC working with clients across the state

Austin's areas of focus include:

  • Criminal Defense

  • Domestic Relations

  • Probate

  • Civil Litigation

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Having practiced as a Deputy Prosecutor, Defense Attorney and Special Judge, I’ve learned that everyone has a story. The victim of the crime has a story. The defendant also has a story. No two situations are the same. It is the job of the Judge to act as a referee and listen to the respective stories in that specific situation and render a fair decision based solely on the law and facts relevant to that particular case.”
— LaTonya Laird Austin
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THE POSITION

The Pulaski County Circuit Courts are in the 6th Judicial District of Arkansas. They are the trial courts of general jurisdiction in the state, hearing a variety of cases including, but not limited to, criminal, divorces, custody, guardianships, adoptions, personal injury, evictions, domestic abuse, as well as some administrative and district court appeals.

As such, it is important that the Judge is familiar with and knowledgeable about the issues presented by these types of cases. 

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