The Higher Education of the New Chief Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court

Tom Colbert, a justice on the Oklahoma Supreme Court since 2004, was elected by his peer justices to a two-year term as chief justice. He is the first African American to serve on the court and the first Black chief justice of the court.

Judge Colbert is a native of Oklahoma City. He attended Eastern Oklahoma State College and earned a bachelor’s degree at Kentucky State University in Frankfort. At Kentucky State University he was an All-American in track and field. After serving in the U.S. Army, Colbert earned a master’s degree in education from Eastern Kentucky University. He then taught in the Chicago public school system before earning his law degree at the University of Oklahoma. He began his legal career as an assistant district attorney in Oklahoma County. He also served as assistant dean at the Marquette University School of Law from 1982 to 1984.

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