Woman from Arkansas follows family in public service
HOPE, Ark. (AP) — While most in Hope know of hometown boys, William Jefferson Clinton and Mike Huckabee, who have made good, going on to national acclaim in public service, they will soon be joined by a hometown girl.
Doris L. Pryor, the daughter of Linda Clark and the granddaughter of Doris Brown, has been selected for appointment as a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Indiana. Pryor was born in Hope, and she graduated Hope High School in 1994.
As recently as Labor Day, Pryor was back in Hope, playing piano at church and visiting family and relatives.
Grandmother Doris Brown, who is a justice on the Quorum Court, and mother, Linda Clark, who works for Hope Public Schools, both expressed great pride and happiness for Pryor.
“I am so happy and so proud of her, real proud,” Brown said Monday.
“I am elated for her, and I am glad the Lord has allowed me the privilege to watch her grow,” Clark said.
The Hope Star reports that Pryor, herself, was able to confirm her pending selection as a federal judge, but she could not speak publicly until her appointment is finalized in six weeks.
Clark, however, was more than happy to speak of her daughter’s accomplishments.
“It is so great that she has reached the highest levels of her career in public service, and I am thankful she has the desire to give back to society,” she said.
Pryor was an honor student in her time at Hope High School in the early 1990s, and her brother, Michael Clark, was there with her, too, graduating HHS in 1992. Both siblings reunited at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, where Pryor graduated in 1999.
Of course, Pryor had the heavy influences of her mother and grandmother, who served in the public arena in Hope as she was growing up.
“I think she saw who we were and saw that our family always were involved in the community and cared about what happened here,” Clark said.
Clark added that Pryor, who now resides in Indiana after marrying her college sweetheart, Johnny Pryor, comes back to Hope regularly to visit and stays engaged to her roots here.
“She was here during Labor Day and played the piano at church, and she is looking to come back sometime in January and speak to the kids at HAPS,” she said. “She still cares very much for her hometown.”
After graduating in Conway, Pryor obtained her law degree from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana, in 2003, which is where she met her husband. She was admitted to the Indiana Bar the same year.
“She was always very bright, and she came up through Hope High School during a special time; there were some 30 or so honor students there the year she graduated, and I think they all pushed and challenged each other to great levels of achievement,” Clark recalled.
A foreshadowing of things to come, Pryor had served on Hope High School’s Student Government Association, including as student president, and she also served on the SGA at UCA in Conway.
As her appointment to the Federal Bench is still pending, the past few years Pryor has served as the national security chief for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana and has served in that role since September 2014.
According to her official government biography, from August 2006 until her appointment as national security chief, Pryor served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. From August 2005 through August 2006, she served as a deputy public defender on the State of Arkansas Public Defenders Commission.
She also has served two terms as a law clerk, for Judge J. Leon Holmes in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas (August 2004-August 2005), and for Chief Judge Lavenski Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (August 2003-August 2004).
Pryor also has a three-year-old son, Johnny Samuel. Her father, and Linda Clark’s husband, is James Clark. Magistrate judges are appointed by the judges of the U.S. District Courts for terms of eight years, and are eligible for reappointment to successive terms.
Information from: Hope Star, http://www.hopestar.com/