Thomas (Tom) L. Barron is a life-long resident of Pulaski County, born in Little Rock on July 2, 1958. He graduated from Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School and went on to attend the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in English in 1981 and received his Juris Doctor in 1984. He was admitted to the Arkansas bar in 1984, the U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western District of Arkansas in 1985, and the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in 1986.
As a third generation Little Rock lawyer, Tom was fortunate to learn at the helm of his father, John (Jay) W. Barron, Jr., where he spent the first 25 years of his practice. Tom’s grandfather, John (Jack) W. Barron, was a partner at Rose, Meek, House, Barron, Nash & Williamson, known today as the Rose Law Firm, the oldest law firm west of the Mississippi River. Tom now has his own firm, Bear State Law, PLLC, where he has practiced under, with, and against some of the finest lawyers to ever practice in the state of Arkansas.
Tom has over 35 years of trial experience primarily focused on civil litigation including personal injury, business disputes, domestic relations, professional negligence, and product liability, as well as criminal defense. When it comes to his practice philosophy, Tom believes every case deserves the highest level of attention and preparation, and that he is always accessible to his clients.
In addition to his extensive trial experience, he has served as a special judge in Pulaski County Circuit Court. Tom has the distinction of being AV Preeminent® rated by Martindale-Hubbell since 1996, the highest peer rating standard, with less than 10% of all Arkansas attorneys rated at this level. This rating signifies that a large number of Tom’s peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence for his legal expertise, analytical capabilities, judgment, communication skills, and ethical standards.
Tom was appointed to the Arkansas Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program (JLAP) Committee by the Supreme Court in October 2007 for a six year term and served as the Chair of the Committee. JLAP was created by the Arkansas Supreme Court in 2000 to provide mental health and substance abuse services to Arkansas’ judges, lawyers, and their family members. JLAP can help address problems before they jeopardize a lawyer’s practice, a judge’s career, or a family member’s health. In 2014, Tom received the Arkansas JLAP Justice Robert L. Brown Community Support Award. This award is presented to a person within the legal community who has performed outstanding service to Arkansas’ communities through a commitment to building and sustaining a program of lawyers helping lawyers. This service has been performed out of a sense of duty, responsibility, and professionalism to improve lives and protect communities through supporting the health and well-being of judges, lawyers and their families.
Tom continues to serve and support JLAP through volunteer activities and by helping educate the legal profession about addiction, behavioral, and mental health problems. Tom is also a former board member and chair of The Friends of Recovery Foundation, Inc. (FOR), and is still actively engaged in fundraising, peer to peer counseling, and serves as its legal counsel. He is currently a member of Arkansas Peers Achieving Recovery Together (A.P.A.R.T.) and he donates his time and legal services to VOCALS (Volunteer Organization of Center for Arkansas Legal Services). Tom is currently a Master of the Bench in the Judge Henry Woods American Inn of Court, and an alumni Master of the Bench in the Judge William R. Overton American Inn of Court (1989-2003). Tom is a member of the Pulaski County Bar Association, the Arkansas Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association.
Tom has volunteered, donated to, or fundraised for the following community organizations: Arkansas Access to Justice, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Arkansas Public Policy Panel, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, Arkansas PAWS in Prison, Centers for Youth and Families, Central Arkansas Rescue Effort for Animals, Compassion Works for All, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Everytown for Gun Safety, Hope Rises, Immerse Arkansas, Little Rock Animal Village, Little Rock Compassion Center, Lucie’s Place, March of Dimes, National Suicide Prevention, NASW Arkansas, Next Step Women, Peace at Home Family Shelters, Pulaski County Adoption, Rock City Rescue, SerenityStar, Sierra Club – Arkansas Chapter, The Exodus Project, The One, Women and Children First, and Youth Home.
Outside of his career, Tom has been an avid cyclist – both mountain and road – and a runner throughout his life. He raced competitively as a cyclist and competed in many triathlons. Though he no longer competes, Tom can still be found on his bike 4-5 times a week. Tom married Holly in 2003 and took on the wonderful role of becoming a parent to his stepson, Gavin. Today, their family is complete with their three dogs Toto, Olive, and Virgil. Tom, Holly, and Gavin are all dedicated to helping others and volunteering in their communities. They all particularly share a passion for helping those with addictions and families members of those with addictions find the resources and support they need.