Judge Hanks is a native of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Prior to his appointment as a district judge by President Barack Obama, he served as a United States Magistrate Judge, a Justice on the Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas, and as the judge of the 157th District Court in Houston, Texas. Before coming to the bench, Judge Hanks was in private practice with the law firms of Wickliff & Hall, P.C. and Fulbright & Jaworski, L.L.P.
Judge Hanks graduated first in his class from Louisiana State University, receiving his Bachelor of Arts in economics, summa cum laude. He attended Harvard Law School where he received the Legal Defense Fund/Earl Warren Scholarship and was an editor of the Harvard Blackletter Law Journal. Upon graduation, he served as a law clerk for United States District Court Judge Sim Lake. He later received his Masters of Law degree in judicial studies from Duke University School of Law.
Judge Hanks is a member of the American Law Institute, an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law
Center, and a faculty member of the National Judicial College and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. He
is also on the board of directors of the College of the State Bar of Texas and is a member of the Advisory Board
of the Judicial Education Program at George Mason University. Judge Hanks is a published legal author and a
lecturer at educational seminars throughout the country. He has served as a member of the Texas Judicial Panel
for Multi-District Litigation and the Board of Directors of the Judicial Section of the State Bar of Texas.