OU Law Assistant Dean Scott Palk Nominated for Federal Bench

May 9, 2017 | By Mackenzie Dilbeck, Director of Communications

Media Contact: 
Mackenzie A. Dilbeck
(405) 325-2227

NORMAN — Assistant Dean of Students for the University of Oklahoma College of Law, Scott Palk was nominated to the federal bench by President Donald J. Trump. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Palk will serve as a U.S. district court judge for the Western District of Oklahoma.  

“Everyone at the OU College of Law is very proud of our friend and colleague, Scott Palk,” said OU Law Dean Joseph Harroz Jr. “He is incredibly deserving of this nomination, and I know would serve as a fair and honorable judge for the Western District of Oklahoma.”

Palk was previously nominated in 2015 by then-President Obama, however, his confirmation did not receive a full vote on the Senate floor.

Palk joined the OU College of Law as assistant dean of students in 2011 after serving nearly 20 years as a state and federal prosecutor. He was assistant district attorney for Cleveland County where he prosecuted a variety of crimes and death penalty cases; coordinator for the Multi-County Drug Task Force, directing wire interception drug investigations culminating in the successful prosecution of a significant multi-county methamphetamine distribution organization; an assistant U.S. attorney, prosecuting violent crimes, gangs and domestic terrorism; and deputy criminal chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

He has received a number of honors for his work including Prosecutor of the Year awards from The Association of Oklahoma Narcotics Enforcers and the Oklahoma Gang Investigators Association; the Executive Office of the U.S. Attorneys Director’s Award for Superior Performance; the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Drug Law Enforcement; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Director’s Certificate of Appreciation for Assistance to the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

More News & Media


Legal Scholars to Speak at OU Law on Historical and Modern ‘Blackness as Nuisance’

Two legal scholars and authors will discuss historic and present-day permutations of a form of racial profiling in a Zoom webinar hosted by the University of Oklahoma College of Law, set for noon Wednesday, Oct. 21.



OU Law Conversations: Dean Emeritus Andrew Coats

What led you to OU Law? I have wanted to go to law school since I was a teenager. I was active in speech contests and enjoyed making oral presentations. When I was in high school, I would go downtown and watch some of the trials at the courthouse, so, I got acquainted with the courtroom rather early. I obtained a Navy scholarship to go to OU. I was a regular Navy midshipman then I served three years in the far east before coming back to law school. I wanted to attend law school and came back to OU.



OU Law Conversations: Robert Barnes

What led you to OU Law? OU Law has been part of my family since the 1920s. My great uncle was Dr. Maurice Merrill, a 1922 graduate of OU Law who then earned a Doctorate in Law from Harvard University in 1925. Merrill taught at OU Law for 30 years, published numerous seminal works in oil and gas law, constitutional law, administrative law and the law of Notice. While still in his twenties, Merrill published the seminal treatise Implied Covenants in Oil and Gas Law, which has been a cornerstone of my cases. In law school, I lived with Uncle Maurice and marveled at his longhand scrawl which was literally final copy in its first draft form. In my mind, he will always be ten times the lawyer that I ever became.


All News & Media

Thank you for your interest in applying to OU Law

Please select your program of interest to learn more about the application process.

J.D. ProgramM.L.S. ProgramLL.M. ProgramLegal Assistant Education Not sure? Learn more about admissions at OU Law