Linda Samuel-Jaha is an attorney in Oklahoma City. Before attending law school she worked as support staff to Judge Tom Brett of the Court of Criminal Appeals. She received her J.D. from the Oklahoma City University School of Law in 1992. During law school she worked as a paralegal for the U.S. Attorney's office and Legal Aid. After graduation, she worked as an Assistant Attorney General in the civil litigation division of the State Attorney General's office. She left the State Attorney General's office to work for Kerr McGee and then in private practice. She has served as the chair of the Diversity Committee and as a member the Law School Committee of the Oklahoma Bar Association.
If a researcher wishes to use the information gathered in this interview for uses other than educational or scholarly uses (with the exception of fundraising or commercial advertising), they may not do so without further permission from the interview subject.
Below is a short selection of the interview with Linda Samuel-Jaha. You can listen to the full interview by visiting the Chickasaw Nation Law Library at Oklahoma City University School of Law.
Below is an excerpt from Ms Samuel-Jaha's interview and a link to download the full transcript.
KEK: Why do you think it’s so important to encourage diversity, both through a formal OBA committee and just generally?
LSJ: The credibility of our justice system I think hinges on whether or not it comes across as fair and just. And if everybody looks like white, middle-aged men, people like myself or even you are going to be suspect of the justice that’s provided for people by people that don’t look like me. I need to see somebody that looks like me, so I can feel like there is fairness and justice even in the system. So the credibility of the system I think is better off with there being diversity. If you don’t have diversity, then I won’t say we’ll be in anarchy, but people will have less respect for the system. That’s why I think it’s so important and you get so many different takes, like the study groups we talked about, life’s experiences, law school experiences. Just, it makes for a better system when you have a more rounded system, a reflection of this country. I mean, it’s the judicial system for this country, so it should be a reflection of this country. And so I think it’s very important, I do. And one of the things that is evident just here locally is that we have a long way to go. We do, but we are seeing a few more women on the Bench or in administrative positions at the Bar. But still, predominately it’s white men and we are going to see a change. We’ve seen a change nationally; we’re going to see a change locally. I hope to live to see it.