Center for Women in Law

Convening leaders, generating ideas, leading change.

Nancy Atlas

Nancy Atlas was appointed a United States District Judge for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, in 1995. Judge Atlas is active in the American Bar Association and its Section of Litigation.  She is a member of the Section of Litigation’s governing council, Chaired the ABA Standing Committee on Federal Judicial Improvements, and held many other leadership positions within the Litigation Section, such including chairing committees on multi-jurisdictional practice, ethical settlement guidelines, and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee.  Judge Atlas also is a member of the American Law Institute. Judge Atlas was a council member of the State Bar of Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, co-chaired the committee that created the Texas Ethical Guidelines for Mediators, and served as director and treasurer of the Houston Bar Foundation.  She founded, and was a Director and Vice President of, the Association of Attorney-Mediators, Inc. (Houston Chapter). 

Judge Atlas is a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States’ Committee on Judicial Security, which oversees issues pertaining to security of United States Judges both at courthouses and elsewhere. She also chairs that Committee’s Subcommittee on Budget and Finance, which has direct oversight of the United States Marshal Services’ court security budget. Before taking the bench, Judge Atlas chaired the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and was active in various charities. Judge Atlas graduated from Tufts University (1971) magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.  She earned a Juris Doctor degree from New York University School of Law (NYU) (1974), where she served as Managing Editor of NYU’s Annual Survey of American Law, and received the law school’s Vanderbilt Award for outstanding service.