Meet Dean Couch

“I love Oklahoma City University School of Law for so many reasons. But among the top is the school’s tradition of producing
INNOVATIVE
FORWARD THINKING
SERVANT LEADERS
who make the world a better place.”
Valerie K. Couch ushered in a new era in Oklahoma City University School of Law’s history on April 9, 2012, when she became the 12th dean of the law school.  She is the first woman and the first federal judge to move into the leadership role at the school.  She cares about the future of legal education, is passionate about the success of students, appreciates the school’s pioneering history and embraces the future with energy and zeal.

Before coming to Oklahoma City University School of Law, Dean Couch served as United States Magistrate Judge in the District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.  She was appointed to the federal bench in 1999, where she served for more than thirteen years and presided over a wide range of criminal and civil matters.  She also brings to her new role as dean a wealth of experience as a civil litigator in private practice.  For sixteen years, Dean Couch was a trial attorney with the Oklahoma City firm of Hartzog Conger & Cason, P.C.

During her years on the bench, she was actively involved at Oklahoma City University School of Law.  Since 2000, she has been a familiar face on campus as an adjunct faculty member and frequent lecturer.  She has also been engaged in the law school’s Judicial Externship Program providing opportunities for students to work, under her tutelage, at the U.S. District Court.

Dean Couch earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of California at Los Angeles, Master of Arts in English Literature from the University of Oklahoma and Juris Doctor from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1983, graduating Order of the Coif.

She currently serves as an elected member of the national board of trustees of the American Inns of Court and is a past president of the William J. Holloway, Jr. American Inn of Court.  In 2003, she was elected president of the Oklahoma County Bar Association. She is an Oklahoma Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and served as President of the Oklahoma City Chapter of the Federal Bar Association from 2009-2010.  She has also served on the editorial board of the Federal Courts Law Review for several years.  Dean Couch is actively involved with the Oklahoma Bar Foundation and has served on the Foundation’s Board of Trustees since 2007.

CLICK HERE for information about Dean Couch’s Investiture.

CLICK HERE to see a list of Oklahoma City University School of Law’s previous deans.