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Oklahoma Legal Oral History

Interviews with Oklahoma Legal Professionals


Tom McDaniel is the former President of Oklahoma City University. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1960. He practiced law in Alva, Oklahoma for 15 years before becoming the Oklahoma Administrative Director of the Courts. He worked for the Kerr-McGee Corporation where he handled the settlement of the Silkwood case, and went on to become the General Counsel and then the Vice-Chairman of the Board. After retiring from Keer-McGee, he served for one year as the President of Northwestern University in Oklahoma and then as the President of Oklahoma City University for eight years.

If a researcher wishes to use the information gathered in this interview for uses other than educational or scholarly uses, they may do so without further permission from the interview subject. 


Below is a short selection of the interview with Tom McDaniel. 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 Mr. McDaniel's interview and a link to download the full transcript.

KEK: What kinds of qualities do you think are important for a person if they want to be a litigator?

TJM: Well, I think it probably helps to have a competitive streak. I think that sometimes that can be overdone of course and I think that there has to be, one of the things that you hope that is instilled in every student in law school, is that it is a profession that serves. And that it serves not only the client, but the administration of justice. That winning isn’t everything. On the other hand, I think people who are more competitive make better litigators. And I marvel at some of the students I see here at our school, not law school, but in music and dance that are not necessarily competitive with each other but they just love what they are doing. And I was in a competitive environment playing on athletic teams, it instills in you a sense of competitiveness I think. So, that’s why I tend to go towards litigation.

Catalog Record

800 N. Harvey Oklahoma City, OK 73102 405.208.5271