Joel Atlas taught first-year lawyering and upper-level courses on appellate advocacy and oral-presentation skills, and he served as the primary Hearing Chair for the university’s hearings under Policy 6.4 (addressing "bias, discrimination, harassment, and sexual and related misconduct").
After graduation from Boston University School of Law, Professor Atlas practiced law for 15 years at the Criminal Appeals Bureau of the Legal Aid Society in New York City, first as an Associate Appellate Counsel and later as a Supervising Attorney. During that time, he also taught first-year writing at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, a seminar on appellate advocacy at Brooklyn Law School, and the criminal appellate advocacy clinic at New York University School of Law. He joined Cornell Law School in 2000 and, from mid-2006 through mid-2021, served as Director of the Lawyering Program.
In addition to publishing numerous articles about substantive law and teaching skills, Professor Atlas co-authored A Guide to Teaching Lawyering Skills (2012), a comprehensive handbook for legal-skills professors.