OSU alumna Dana Kuehn first woman on both Oklahoma higher courts
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
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Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Dana Kuehn is unafraid to chase her dreams.
As the first woman on both the Oklahoma Criminal Court of Appeals and the Oklahoma State Supreme Court, it’s a message she is passionate about sharing with young girls everywhere.
Growing up in Jenks, Oklahoma, Kuehn knew her career aspirations early. Politics intrigued her, and law school appealed to her competitive nature. Her parents are proud Oklahoma State University alumni, but that wasn’t her only reason for choosing to attend OSU and major in political science.
“I knew that I would be expected to work hard, excel and not shy away from conflict or complex issues in law school,” Kuehn said. “I knew my education at OSU would help me grow as a leader and prepare me for those experiences.”
Although she worked hard and graduated in 1993 as a College of Arts and Sciences Top Ten Senior, her time at OSU wasn’t all work and no play. Kuehn was president of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and a member of the OSU pom squad, which afforded her the opportunity to dance in the Orange Bowl stadium during a preseason game.
After graduation, she went back to Tulsa for law school. She served as a trial lawyer for 10 years before serving as associate district judge for Tulsa County. In 2017, she was appointed to serve on the Oklahoma State Criminal Court of Appeals.
Of all the lengthy accolades, her favorite title is three letters: mom. A proud mother of four boys, Kuehn said it takes intentionality to balance work and home.
“Besides God, my family is most important to me and my most important ‘job,’” she said. “If you prioritize and use your time well and love what you do, you can succeed in both places.”
In July 2021, she was appointed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, becoming the first woman to serve on both of the state’s high courts. This history-making moment is one that she hopes encourages women everywhere.
“It’s an honor to let all young women know that when you put your mind to it, you can achieve whatever you want,” Kuehn said. “You can do it.”
Photos by: Phil Shockley
Story by: Kylee Sutherland | STATE Magazine