TACTAS Appellate Judge of the Year in 2022

Justice Julie Countiss

Justice Julie Countiss was elected to Place 7 on the Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas on November 6, 2018, and sworn into office by her father, retired Justice Richard Countiss.  In 2022, she was named Appellate Judge of the Year by the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists.

Born and raised in the Texas Panhandle, Justice Countiss graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and joined Teach for America in 1993. Her experience teaching elementary school in the South Bronx, New York City ignited her passion for public service. After graduating from the Law Center at the University of Houston in 2002 and years of working in private practice, Justice Countiss returned to public service as Assistant County Attorney in the Office of the Harris County Attorney until her election to the Court.

Justice Countiss is actively engaged in the judiciary statewide and nationally.

In 2019, Justice Countiss was appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas to serve on the Texas Children’s Commission–a judicial commission for children, youth, and families in Texas. The Children’s Commission was established to strengthen the child welfare system by increasing public awareness about the challenges facing children, youth, and families through encouraging judicial leadership, supporting best judicial and legal practices through training and education, and informing policy and practice affecting child welfare in Texas.

As a member of the National Association of Women Judges, Justice Countiss has the privilege of serving on the Houston Color of Justice host committee alongside a diverse group of judges from the trial and appellate bench. The purpose of this program is to enhance diversity in Houston’s legal profession and judiciary, one student at a time. At the annual event, six NAWJ Access to Justice Houston Scholarships are awarded to local law students who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to the advancement of diversity, inclusion, equal opportunity, and access to justice.

Justice Countiss is an active member of the Houston Bar Association. She currently co-chairs the Law Library Committee for the HBA and in the past she co-chaired the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, the Professionalism Committee and the Civil Trial and Appellate Bench Bar Committee. She has twice won a president’s award from the Houston Bar Association for her service.

Color of Justice encourages girls and minorities of all age levels to consider legal and judicial careers by bringing them together with judges and lawyers, and providing them with resources to pursue their goals.


Proud to be endorsed by these organization that promote excellence in the law and equality for all:

Beto for Texas

Houston LGBTQ+ Political Caucus 

Mexican American Bar Association of Houston

Area Five Democrats

Houston Association of Women Attorneys

Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation

Run Sister Run PAC

Latinas United PAC