Mary Lou Robinson earned an associate degree with honors from Amarillo College in 1946. After graduating from the University of Texas School of Law, she entered private practice but soon was appointed to the bench and the rest is history. She served as a district judge for Potter County, then was appointed in 1973 to associate justice of the Court of Civil Appeals, becoming the first woman appellate judge in Texas. In 1977, Mary Lou was appointed Chief Justice of the Court of Civil Appeals for the Seventh Supreme Judicial District, and in 1979 President Jimmy Carter appointed her United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas, Amarillo Division. She has served on numerous boards and committees, including the advisory committee for continuing education for women at Amarillo College.