Mr. Atlas graduated from Yale University (B.A. 1971) and The University of Texas (J.D. 1975) and served as law clerk to Judge Thomas Gibbs Gee on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Austin, Texas. He was a senior corporate litigation partner at Vinson & Elkins and Weil, Gotshal & Manges before serving as the finance chair of Bill White’s campaign for Governor of Texas in 2009-2010. He is currently president of Atlas Counsel Search, LLC, which helps businesses and individuals find outside counsel for their legal needs.
While in law practice, Mr. Atlas was listed repeatedly in Woodard/White Inc.’s “The Best Lawyers in America” in commercial litigation and was listed several times as one of the Top 100 Houston Region attorneys by Texas Monthly. Each year from 2016 to 2021, he was named one of Lawdragon’s 100 Leading Legal Consultants and Strategists. In 2021, he was named one of nine people selected for the first-ever Lawdragon Hall of Fame.
In 2002 to 2003, Mr. Atlas chaired the ABA Section of Litigation, which then had more than 70,000 members. He was appointed by Governor Rick Perry as an ex-officio member of the Texas Criminal Justice Advisory Council.
From 2014 through 2018, he chaired Texas Law’s Endowment for Excellence campaign, tasked with raising $30+ million for scholarships. To date, the program has raised more than $56 million, including more than $53 million in endowed funds. From 2015 to 2017, he served as President of the Texas Law Alumni Association. He is a Lifetime Member of the UT Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee. He serves as a What Starts Here Capital Campaign Ambassador and served on the UT Committee of 125 and the Executive Council of the Texas Ex-Students Association. Mr. Atlas is a former president and longtime ex-officio director of the Texas Law Review Association and chaired its Centennial Celebration.
He created in 1983 and until 2010 coordinated the Texas Appointment Plan, which recruited more than 1300 lawyers from more than 125 Texas law firms to provide pro bono representation for indigents before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He is General Counsel to the Alley Theatre and former Chair of the Anti-Defamation League of the Southwest Region.
Mr. Atlas was named Distinguished Alumnus for Community Service by the Texas Law Alumni Association and an outstanding Young Texas Ex by the Texas Exes. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Lola Wright Foundation Award from the Texas Bar Foundation, the Leon Green Award from the Texas Law Review Association, the Leon Jaworski Community Service Award from the Houston Bar Association Auxiliary, and the Karen Susman Jurisprudence Award from the ADL. He received the ABA Pro Bono Award and was awarded the Orden de Mayo al Merito — the most prestigious recognition granted by Argentina’s government to foreigners who are not heads of state.