Slide 1

Michael H. Schneider, Jr.


Mike is a trial lawyer, retired judge, and mediator who brings to the firm decades of diverse trial experience from both sides of the bench and a deep institutional knowledge of the many agencies with whom he has worked.

Mike has created and taught CLE programs that have trained thousands of lawyers on topics including CPS and child abuse, complex custody cases, ethics, expert witnesses, human trafficking, record sealing, and many more. In recognition of this work, he received the 2015 President’s Award from the Houston Bar Association.

Mike has successfully tried hundreds of jury trials as a lawyer and state district judge ranging from thorny child custody battles to capital murder. Even early in his judicial career, the Houston Chronicle praised his “demonstrated competency” in handling high-profile cases and consistently endorsed him his entire judicial career, noting, “Schneider has devoted his career to protecting children‚ both as an assistant Harris County attorney and as general counsel of Houston’s renowned Children’s Assessment Center.”

Mike joined the Harris County Attorney’s Office in 1999. He served as Chief of the 313th District Court and handled thousands of child custody cases involving the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (CPS). In 2001, he became Deputy Division Chief of the office’s Children’s Protective Division, and from 2004 until he took the bench in 2006, served as General Counsel to the world-renowned Children’s Assessment Center. In 2017, Mike was appointed Adjunct Research Scientist in the Psychology Department of Columbia University in the City of New York and in 2022 to the Board of the Center for Science and the Law.

In 2019 Mike served as a Policy Analyst for Hon. Gene Wu and became a partner at Houston’s Berg Plummer Johnson & Raval LLP and in 2024 partnered with Bill Connolly and Les Shireman to form Connolly Schneider Shireman LLP with a focus on child welfare law.


South Texas College of Law J.D., 1997

University of Texas School of Law Visiting Student, 1996

Texas A&M University B.A., Pol. Science, 1991


1999-2006 Assistant Harris County Attorney, Court Chief, Deputy Division Chief, Section Chief of Children’s Assessment Center (“CAC”), General Counsel to CAC, Harris County Attorneys Office

2006-18 State District Judge, 315th District Court, Houston, Texas, appointed by Hon. Rick Perry

2016 Visiting Associate Justice, First Court of Appeals, Houston

2017- Adjunct Associate Research Scientist, Columbia University, New York City, New York

2019 Child Welfare Policy Analyst, for the Honorable Gene Wu, Texas House of Representatives, Austin, Texas

2019 Visiting Judge, Family District Courts of Harris County, Texas

2019- Partner, Berg Plummer Johnson & Raval LLP, Houston


(Selected) Other Professional Activities

2001-04 Member, Child Fatality Review Team, Memorial Hermann Hospital, Houston

2001-19 Instructor, Advocacy University, Child Advocates, Houston

2002-06 Member, CAC Partnership Council, Houston

2006-18 Member and Secretary, Harris County Juvenile Board

2008-12 Member, Executive Committee, Annie E. Casey Foundation Harris County Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative

2010- Instructor, Healing Species Texas, Harris County, Texas

2010-18 Founding member, Harris County Public Defender Advisory Board

2010-18 Founder/Judge, Harris County Juvenile Drug Court

2011-18 Founder/Judge, Harris County Juvenile Human Trafficking Court, Creating Advocacy Resiliance and Empowerment (“CARE” formerly “GIRLS” Court)

2013- Founder/instructor, pro bono juvenile sealing program, with Houston Bar Association and University of Houston Law Center Juvenile and Capital Advocacy Program

2013- Founder/webmaster,, online resource for children in Texas foster care

2013-21 Council member, Officer, Juvenile Law Section, State Bar of Texas, Austin

2015-19 Secretary, Chair, Juvenile Law Section, Houston Bar Assoc.

2015-21 Commissioner, Supreme Court of Texas Children’s Commission, Austin

2016-20 Co-Chair, Youth Justice Council (My Brother’s Keeper), Houston

2017-22 Council and founding member, Child Welfare Section, State Bar of Texas, Austin

2019- Board member, The Way Home Adoption, Inc., Houston

2019-20 Chair, Juvenile Law Section, State Bar of Texas, Austin

2020- Board of directors, Center for Science and Law, Palo Alto, California

2021- Board member, Criss Cole Children’s Foundation, Houston

  • Professional Associations and Memberships

    American Bar Association

    American Leadership Forum (Senior Fellow)

    Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association

    Houston Bar Foundation (Life Member)

    New York Bar Association

    State Bar of Texas

    State of New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department

    Texas Bar Foundation (Life Member)

    Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

  • Writings, Speeches and CLE Presentations

    Legal and Professional Writings, Speeches and CLE Presentations: Judge Michael Schneider Jr. (Ret.)

    “Send 17-year-olds to juvenile court,” San Antonio Express-News, March 15, 2015, with Hon. Laura Parker

    “Improving foster care should include juvenile justice reforms,” Houston Chronicle, March 17, 2017

    “A Second Chance,” The Houston Lawyer, March/April 2017, with Katya Dow and Brian Fischer

    Co-Editor and Co-Author, Bench Book For The Texas Judiciary, Texas Center for the Judiciary, 2018