For five generations, Sharla Frost’s family has lived in the same community of Frogville, an unincorporated town in far southeast Oklahoma. While the town and school are small – 37 in Frost’s graduating class at Fort Towson High School– her support system was vast. From her parents to her high school principal and college alma mater, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Frost was continually encouraged to reach higher.
Frost’s mother worked in the home and helped with the cattle on their ranch. Her father was a railroad engineer. “Neither of them had a college degree but ever since we were itty bitty, my sister and I were told we were going to college,” Frost said.
Her high school principal met with each of the students to discuss their plans after graduation. When asked, Frost confidently reported that she was going to be secretary. The principal quickly replied, “You aren’t going to be a secretary, you are going to have a secretary.” He recommended Frost become a lawyer and her career plan never deviated.
Frost attended Southeastern on a Parsons scholarship, a full scholarship for liberal arts majors with a required cultural enrichment activity once a semester.
“The university provided everything from academics to the social and cultural aspects that you don’t get if you live on a farm in Frogville, ”Frost explained. “One time we traveled to Dallas to see a play, another time we went to Oklahoma City to hear the symphony.”
Frost did become a lawyer – one of the top litigation lawyers in the country and a partner at the national law firm Tucker Ellis LLP. She has been first chair for more than 60 trials. “I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of something most lawyers don’t get to do and very few women,” Frost said.
“Sharla Frost is one of the very top trial lawyers in America,” said Joe Morford, managing partner at Tucker Ellis LLP. “She wins very difficult cases in some of the most dangerous jurisdictions.”
Growing up on a farm in Frogville, attending Southeastern and discovering a bigger world through the Parson’s scholarship can all be credited with contributing to her success, said Frost.
“A regional university gives you those kind of opportunities. They encourage and help people explore what those possibilities are,” she said.