Texas Tech University

Human Development and Family Sciences Alumna Serves as Litigation Division Manager for Tulsa, Oklahoma

Matilda Beckanovic

May 2, 2023

Kristina Gray

Kristina Gray uses knowledge from HDFS courses on a variety of different court cases in her current role

Kristina Gray, JD, received her Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS) with minors in Substance Abuse Studies and Sociology from Texas Tech University in 2004. She later went on to receive a Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. Gray currently serves as a litigation division manager for the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma, City Attorney's office. 

This position has been full of a variety of opportunities for Gray. She works on different cases ranging from slip and falls, to employment law cases, and federal civil rights lawsuits. She had the opportunity to argue cases in state and federal courts all over Oklahoma. Gray has also argued before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver and briefed matters before the United States Supreme Court. 

“I love that every dayevery case is different,” Gray said. “One day, I may be handling a slip-and-fall case, and the next day I am arguing complex issues of jurisdiction on Indian reservations before the Tenth Circuit. Every day is something new and interesting.” 

Initially, Gray was interested in becoming an HDFS major in order to explore counseling as a career with a focus on adolescents. The HDFS program was full of opportunities for Gray to explore the various career options available as well as spend time with people in the field. This gave Gray a chance to learn what she really wanted to do and what she had a true passion for. 

“I constantly recommend this program to people,” Gray said. “The best advice I was given when I started college was to major in something that would give me a broad base of knowledge so that even if I decided to go to law school, I would be a well-rounded lawyer. This program prepared me for what my eventual career would be in a number of ways but also prepared me for life.”  

The Human Development and Family Sciences program focuses on providing their students with resources and education they will use in their future careers. Students are also provided a wide range of instruction from areas of human development across the lifespan. 

Gray says that part of her role as a litigator is to evaluate people. She says whether it is determining the credibility of a witness, trying to read a jury or a judge, or communicating with a co-worker, understanding people and what they are communicating is a vital part of her job. Gray shares how her HDFS courses prepared her for her future career, serving a variety of people.

“The classes I took in Human Development and Family Studies were a great foundation in learning those skills,” Gray said. “I also learned a ton about effective communication which is a key component of my work today.”