Kathy LaFortune, Ph.D.
Dr. LaFortune is a licensed Oklahoma attorney and psychologist and currently works at the Tulsa County Family Center for Juvenile Justice, coordinating forensic services in delinquency and dual status cases. She graduated from Duke University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and worked at Bell Telephone Laboratories before returning to Oklahoma to attend the University of Tulsa College of Law. She then worked as a Municipal Public Defender for the City of Tulsa and realized that some of her clients struggled with severe mental health issues. This prompted her to pursue a degree in Clinical Psychology at TU where she met forensic psychologist Dr. Robert Nicholson who acted as a mentor in forensic work. She was a Carl Albert Fellow while working at Rader Treatment Center for juveniles and later did her pre and postdoctoral internships at Eastern State Hospital, now Oklahoma Forensic Center, with incompetent and insanity acquittees. Dr. LaFortune then worked with the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System as Capital Counsel and then Chief of Forensic Psychological Services in the Executive Division for 13 years coordinating mental health expert requests in capital and noncapital cases.
She has been an Adjunct Assistant professor at OSU Forensic Sciences Master’s program since 2002, and at The University of Tulsa College of Law since 1996 and the Clinical Psychology Department at TU. She taught for five years as an adjunct instructor for New York Law School’s Mental Disability Law program and received the Otto L. Walter Distinguished Writing Award in 2013 from NYLS for her article on mental disability and law in child custody cases. She is presently on the nine-member Committee on Legal Issues of the American Psychological Association, the SPSSI Court Watch Committee (Division 9, American Psychological Association) and serves as a regular contributor to the Judicial Notebook in the American Psychological Association Monitor. She also serves on board of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and Parkside Psychiatric Hospital and Clinic and has served on the Oklahoma Child Death Review board, the Tristesse Grief Center, and the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System board.
Dr. LaFortune has published or co-authored articles on forensic psychology and criminal law in various journals including the Journal of Psychiatry and Law, Behavioral Science and Law, APA Monitor, American Bar Association Family Law Quarterly in 2012, and Law and Human Behavior. She has served as a reviewer of a national juvenile competency manual for publication, as well as a member of the Oklahoma Juvenile Competency Workgroup for the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth. She has also helped coordinate a jury trauma and stress project in Tulsa County to assist jurors post-verdict to receive free counseling in difficult cases.