Van Z. Hampton received his Juris Doctorate in 1987 from Oral Roberts University School of Law (after attending his third year as a visiting student at the University of Kansas School of Law). The following year, he obtained his Master of Laws degree from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, School of Law. He then returned to practice law throughout the early 1990s, in Dodge City, Kansas. In 1995 the Governor of Kansas appointed Van as a District Judge to fill the newly created Division 3 for the Sixteenth Judicial District. The Sixteenth District is comprised of six counties in Southwest Kansas. In 2015, Van Z. Hampton was appointed to serve as Chief Judge of the District. During his tenure he heard and decided thousands of contested hearings and bench trials. As a lawyer and then as District Judge, he has participated in over a hundred jury trials. He also was invited twice to serve on panels with the Kansas Court of Appeals, and in 2012 was invited to serve with the Kansas Supreme Court to hear and decide a case. Now he is again in private practice, as a partner of Warrior Lawyers International, managing the Dodge City Office.