Paden earned a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1964 and a juris doctorate from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1967.
He began his legal career as a staff attorney in 1967 for Sunray DX Oil Company where he researched federal and state laws that affected the oil and gas industry, drafted legal memoranda for supervising attorneys and pleadings in various litigation matters on behalf of Sunray DX.
From 1969-78, he served as a special assistant and legislative aide to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon where he advised Bellmon on topics affecting Oklahoma, including Native American legislative issues and energy and environmental legislation.
Paden has also served as a special hearing officer for the CN Administrative Appeals Board from 2013-17 after being appointed by former Chief Baker.
He is also a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association and Cherokee Bar Association.
From Cherokee Nation press release dated 9/27/2018: http://www.anadisgoi.com/archive/2241-tribal-council-confirms-lee-paden-as-a-cherokee-nation-supreme-court-justice