Michelle Ator

Medical Malpractice, Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Litigation


  • (501) 370-3319
  • mator@fridayfirm.com
  • (501) 537-2904


Michelle Ator heads the Medical Malpractice Group. Her practice is focused on representing doctors, hospitals and all types of medical and dental care providers in malpractice litigation and pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in products cases. 

She was recognized in Chambers USA: America's Leading Individuals 2016. As noted in the publication, Michelle is as a "highly respected medical malpractice defense lawyer...very polished and very good in court.”  

She was named the 2017 Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in the area of medical malpractice defense and has been rated by Super Lawyers as one of the Top 50 Lawyers in Arkansas and Top 50 Women Lawyers of the Mid-South. Michelle has also been the recipient of a number of professional awards including the Vincent Foster, Jr. Outstanding Lawyer Award, the Pulaski County Bar Association’s President’s Award, an Ike Scott Fellowship by the Pulaski County Bar Foundation and the Arkansas Bar Foundation Award for Excellence in Legal Writing. Martindale-Hubbell has rated Ms. Ator as AV “Preeminent” – the highest rating for ability and ethical standards.

Michelle is a Past President of the Pulaski County Bar Association and remains actively involved in service to the bar and community. She has served two terms as appointed member of the Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Civil Practice. She is a Master of the Bench and Past President of the Henry Woods American Inn of Court and has acted as trial skills faculty at the American Board of Trial Advocates National Trial College. She is currently serving as Chancellor for the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Michelle is an Associate of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and is a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), the International Society of Barristers, DRI and Arkansas Association of Defense Counsel. 

Before joining the firm, Michelle served as a Division Chief in the Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office where she primarily tried rape, child abuse, domestic abuse and homicide cases. 

She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado where she was a President’s Leadership Class Scholar, and Juris Doctor with Honors from the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law where she worked as an Associate Editor on the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Journal. 

Michelle is licensed to practice in Arkansas state courts, federal courts in Arkansas, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and before the United States Supreme Court. 


Best Lawyers Award Badge  Best Lawyers Award Badge




  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law
    • Juris Doctor with Honors, 1995
    • Associate Casenotes Editor, University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Journal
    • Phi Delta Phi
  • University of Colorado; B.A., Political Science, 1989
    • President's Leadership Institute Graduate, an academic and scholarship program awarded to CU’s “top 50 freshmen”
    • University Academic Achievement Award; NBA Academic Scholarship Recipient; Regent's Scholar; Golden Key Honor Society; Order of Omega Honor Society; Pi Beta Phi, Vice President


  • Inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers as Fellow
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Medical Malpractice Defense
    • Named Lawyer of the Year 2017 by The Best Lawyers in America, Little Rock, Medical Malpractice Defense
  • Listed in the Arkansas Times, “Best Lawyers in Arkansas," Medical Malpractice Defense
  • Ranked in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Litigation: Medical Malpractice Defense
  • Selected by attorney peers forinclusion in Mid-South Super Lawyer
    • Top 50 Lawyers in Arkansas
    • Top 50 Women Lawyers of the Mid-South

Associations & Memberships

  • American Bar Association, Sections on Litigation, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
  • Arkansas Association of Defense Counsel, Member, Invited Speaker
  • Arkansas Bar Association, Member, Invited Speaker
  • DRI, Member
  • Henry Woods American Inn of Court, Past-President, Master of the Bench
  • International Association of Defense Counsel, Member
  • International Society of Barristers, Fellow
  • Leadership Greater Little Rock, Class XVI
  • Pulaski County Bar Association, Past President
  • Pulaski County Bar Foundation, Board of Directors, 2004-2008
  • VOCALS (Volunteer Organization for Central Arkansas Legal Services)
  • William R. Overton Inn of Court, Alumni


  • Arkansas
  • Colorado (Inactive)
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas

Additional Links

Attorney Talks Litigation Trends 

Fellow - American College of Trial Lawyers

2018 Best Lawyers 

2017 Chambers USA

Attorney Presents "Business of Medicine"

Lawyer Joins Long Tradition of Associates Elected to Chancellor

2017 The Best Lawyers in America

2017 Lawyers of the Year

2016 Mid-South Super Lawyers

2016 Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers