About the publisher
Lamar W. Hankins publishes this website. He is a mostly retired attorney, living in San Marcos, Texas. He graduated from the Bates College of Law at the University of Houston and did his undergraduate work at Southwestern University in Georgetown.
During his college years, he worked one summer for the Texas prison system and spent a year in VISTA, working for a migrant project in Florida and helping start a rural mental health project in West Virginia. From the time he was in high school, he has been involved in the civil rights movement. He was active in the Anti-Vietnam War movement in the 1960s and 70s and performed two years of alternate service as a conscientious objector.
After graduating from college, he spent seven years working for a social service agency in Central Texas. In that job, he was involved with Head Start, job training, family planning, summer youth employment, developing neighborhood centers, and supervising a VISTA program that built homes with poor families, created neighborhood centers, organized a credit union, provided financial counseling, helped with legal problems, developed tutorial programs, and generally responded to the needs of poor families.
During law school, he concentrated on juvenile law, criminal law, and prisoner rights. As an attorney, he helped sue the Texas prison system for providing lesser training and educational opportunities to women than it offered to male inmates. He was co-counsel in another class action suit challenging the denial of equal protection for women in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M University. He was lead counsel in a lengthy capital murder trial in Brazos County, and later managed a legal services office in six counties in the Bryan-College Station area of Texas.
He was City Attorney for the City of San Marcos for five and a half years. Since resigning from that position in 1989, he has been in private practice handling cases in criminal, family, guardianship, probate, and municipal law in the courts, and doing transactional legal work, such as wills, contracts, leases, deeds, and advance directives.
He has done volunteer work for or served on the boards of several organizations, including the Hays County Local Emergency Planning Committee (part of the local effort coordinated by FEMA); the ACLU of Texas; the Social Work Advisory Board to the School of Social Work at Texas State University; the San Marcos Area Food Bank; the Austin Memorial & Burial Information Society (AMBIS); the national Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA), including four years as President, serving now as Chair of the Legal Committee of FCA; the Hemlock Society of Austin, Texas; the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Texas; and the Final Exit Network. He makes occasional presentations about using advance directives, dealing effectively with the funeral industry, death with dignity, government intrusion on privacy, freethought, and other law-related and consumer topics.
He grew up mostly in Port Arthur, Texas, and is married, with one child and one grandchild. He has written a weekly column – Freethought San Marcos – for the San Marcos Mercury since 2008. Some of his columns have been published in The Rag Blog and the Waco Tribune-Herald.