Dana Cooley graduated from Abilene Christian University in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Home Economics Education. In 1988, she earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Texas Tech University School of Law.
After graduation from law school, she was employed as the Assistant District Attorney for the 132nd Judicial District of the State of Texas which serves Scurry and Borden Counties. She also joined the Rosser and Armstrong law firm in Snyder, Texas at that time. In 1990, she became a partner in the law firm of Rosser, Armstrong and Cooley.
Texas Governor, George W. Bush, appointed her District Attorney for the 132nd District in 1995. In 1996, she was elected to serve as the 132nd District Attorney and served in that capacity for 18 years. She also served as legal counsel to the City of Snyder for 18 years. During her 25 year career as a prosecutor, she has prosecuted thousands of felony, misdemeanor, and juvenile criminal offenses including capital murder, murder, sexual assault, robbery, child abuse, family violence, burglary, theft, forgery, intoxication manslaughter, driving while intoxicated, controlled substance violations, and possession/promotion of child pornography. She has argued appellate cases before the 11th Court of Appeals and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
She and her husband, Ted, have two children: Erin Lowery, who earned a M. Ed. and teaches high school English, and Meghan Hicks, who was a biology major at Lubbock Christian University and who is now a pharmacist. They have three grandchildren.