Director Nikki Edwards lends expertise to United Way Board Serve class

Nikki Edwards, Director in Phillips Murrah’s Family Law Practice, recently spoke to United Way of Central Oklahoma’s Board Serve 2021 Class on behalf of Positive Tomorrows, an organization she’s been active with for more than 20 years.

susan agel and nikki edwards

Director Nikki Edwards (right) addresses United Way’s 2021 Board Serve class alongside Susan Agel, President/CEO or Positive Tomorrows.

“When Susan Agel, President/CEO of Positive Tomorrows, asked me to join her as a presenter at the Board Serve Class, I didn’t hesitate,” Edwards said. “Susan and I shared an interactive discussion about board duties, fundraising, and conflicts of interest.”

The Board Serve program hosts expert-led sessions to teach leadership skills, governance, nonprofit law, and other skills to future board members of nonprofit agencies in the central Oklahoma area. Applicants for the program have the opportunity to be placed on a United Way partner agency’s board for at least one year.

“We were asked to elaborate on Positive Tomorrow’s highly successful capital campaign, raising over $15 million, which funded the new, state-of-the-art school building,” Edwards said. “United Way of Central Oklahoma has been a critical partnership to so many community agencies, including Positive Tomorrows, which could not survive without their financial support.”

Development for Positive Tomorrows’ new facility initiated in 2018 after meeting its fundraising goal and opened in December 2019.

Cassity B. Gies, Phillips Murrah Family Law Attorney, is a current member in the 2021 Board Serve Class.

“I practice alongside Cassity everyday, and it was meaningful for me to interact with her in a different professional capacity,” Edwards said. “Mentorship and community service are personally so satisfying, so I was grateful for the opportunity to help educate our future Oklahoma community leaders and appreciate our law firm supporting Cassity’s desire to spend some of her time in this way.”

Visit United Way of Central Oklahoma’s website for more information on the Board Serve program’s mission.

Phillips Murrah Paying it Forward campaign benefits Arts Council Oklahoma City in June

Phillips Murrah Paying It Forward Header Graphic

Phillips Murrah Presents: Paying It Forward

Amplifying the message of one non-profit each month for a year

[Paying It Forward] In Dec. 2020, Phillips Murrah partnered with Oklahoma NPR radio station KGOU to sponsor broadcast announcements each month that shine a light on a selected non-profit organization. Our aim is to amplify each beneficiary organizations’ needs and goals, and to help increase awareness, drive volunteer quality and quantity, assist in fundraising support, and improve capacity to deliver service to the community.

Our beneficiary in June is Arts Council Oklahoma City, proudly exposing our community to the full spectrum of art in its many forms. By focusing on teaching, learning, and appreciating the arts, their events and programs help the residents to create, experience, and enjoy art.  #PIFOKC


June Beneficiary

Arts Council Oklahoma City

Arts Council logo

Arts Council Oklahoma City is a nonprofit 501 (C)(3) organization that is dedicated to bringing the arts and the community together through free or low-cost, large-scale downtown Oklahoma City cultural events and a variety of arts outreach activities that impact under-served populations.

Contact Arts Council Oklahoma City: https://www.artscouncilokc.com/

To VOLUNTEER at the 2021 Festival of the Arts: https://www.artscouncilokc.com/foa_volunteer/

DONATE to Arts Council Oklahoma City: https://www.classy.org/give/140086/#!/donation/checkout

Arts Council Oklahoma City on Social Media:

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Previous Beneficiaries

May 2021: Partners in Public Health
April 2021: CASA of Oklahoma County
March 2021: The Homeless Alliance
February 2021: Mental Health Association Oklahoma
January 2021: Positive Tomorrows
December 2020: Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

Norman appointed to Junior League of Oklahoma City leadership role

Attorney Kendra Norman is continuing her time with the Junior League of Oklahoma City (JLOC), wrapping up a year as a provisional member to be an Active Member and leader with the organization.

kendra norman with jloc members

Attorney Kendra M. Norman (middle) stands with Junior League of Oklahoma City members

“This provisional year was not typical due to the pandemic and was filled with many Zoom meetings, but it allowed me to be able to meet new people, make friends, and make connections during such a strange year,” Norman said.

JLOC is an charitable organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

“The league has been integral in the Oklahoma City community and has amazing projects for this upcoming year including working with Infant Crisis Services, Concordia Life Care Community, Sunbeam Senior Shelter, The Children’s Hospital, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County, the YWCA, and Pivot,” Norman said. “I’m especially excited about JLOC’s signature community project this year—Project Empowher—which seeks to empower women and girls in the Oklahoma City metro area by providing access to menstrual supplies and health education to help end period poverty in Oklahoma City.”

The Membership Council of JLOC appointed Norman as a Member-at-Large, a leadership position expanding her role in the organization.

“The Membership Council gets to help recognize members through awards and for individual accomplishments, help expand the league through the addition of provisional members, and welcome transfer members from other leagues among other responsibilities,” she said. “I can’t wait to volunteer in the Oklahoma City community, develop my leadership skills, and meet more amazing women from the Junior League this coming year!”

The Junior Service League of Oklahoma City was founded in March 1927, and affiliated with the Association of Junior Leagues of America in 1928 to become the Junior League of Oklahoma City.

Click here for more information about JLOC and its mission.

2021 Phillips Murrah Externship Program teaches law students career lessons

Externship group photo

From L: Phillips Murrah Attorney Lauren Barghols Hanna, Phillips Murrah Director Candace Williams Lisle, OU Law 2L and PM Externs Christopher Punto and Camille Burge pose together in the courtroom of Federal Judge Jodi Dishman during their Apr. 14 educational visit and tour.

In January 2021, Phillips Murrah initiated its inaugural Externship Program in partnership with the University of Oklahoma College of Law, continuing the Firm’s efforts to recruit talented and motivated future attorneys who reflect the diversity of our local community. The Externship Program is spearheaded by the Firm’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. The Program, chaired by Director Candace Williams Lisle, is designed in alignment with Phillips Murrah’s goal to create a workplace culture that is open to all needs, perspectives, contributions, experiences, and backgrounds. The Externship Program exposes a diverse group of students to the everyday practice of law, cultivates relationships, and provides mentorship and opportunities to enhance legal skills. Participating students gain legal experience while working at Phillips Murrah’s Oklahoma City office and receive 3 hours of course credit.

This year, Phillips Murrah welcomed second-year OU Law students, Camille Burge and Christopher Punto. As externs, Burge and Punto were mentored by Phillips Murrah attorneys while learning about practice areas including litigation and appeals, labor and employment, business transactions, real estate, tax, family law, oil and gas, bankruptcy, municipal financing, energy and regulatory, administrative, estate planning, cannabis and liquor licensing, and workers compensation. The externs attended events including depositions, client meetings, a trial, and frequent lunch and learns.   They worked on a variety of research and writing projects and received feedback from their supervising attorneys. The externs also enjoyed a presentation by a Firm client about practicing law as Deputy General Counsel for a large public corporation.

A highlight of the program was a visit to the William J. Holloway Jr. United States Courthouse. Burge and Punto accompanied Lisle and Phillips Murrah Attorney Lauren Barghols Hanna to meetings with federal judges Hon. Bernard Jones, Hon. Patrick Wyrick, and Hon. Jodi Dishman. The federal judges offered advice, answered the externs’ questions, and Judge Dishman gave a tour of her courtroom.

“It was a unique opportunity for the externs to meet one-on-one with the federal judges, learn about their respective paths to the bench, and receive the benefit of their wisdom and advice,” Lisle said.

Below is a video interview with Burge and Punto discussing their courthouse visit as well as their experience participating in the 2021 Phillips Murrah Externship Program.

 

 

“We are very pleased with our inaugural externship program,” Lisle continued. “Through the interview process, we had the opportunity to meet a number of outstanding diverse students from OU Law School. Our externs, Camille and Chris, were talented, energetic, and enthusiastic. We were able to provide them with wonderful opportunities to learn about various areas of law practice from our talented practitioners, and to observe legal work in action. Our primary goal for the externship program was to develop relationships and collaborate with students with diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and we definitely achieved that goal with this program. We’re very excited to expand on our externship program in the future.”

Phillips Murrah continues to be a leader in gender equity in Oklahoma with 44% of Shareholders and 53% of all employees identifying as female. In 2020, Phillips Murrah was nationally recognized by Law360.com as “Ceiling Smashers.” Not only is Phillips Murrah a leader in the percentage of women attorneys, but more importantly, in women who have a seat at the table as equity partners and firm leaders,” Lisle said.

Through the Externship and other programs and initiatives, the Firm seeks to build on this success and further our team’s innovation, engagement, and creativity in our work.  As a six-time-consecutive recipient of the Top Work Place in Oklahoma honor, an award chosen annually by employees of Oklahoma businesses, the Firm is confident in our ability to grow and continue making Phillips Murrah a fulfilling place for all current and future employees.

Phillips Murrah supports Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance

Phillips Murrah is proud to sponsor the Cure FA Soirée hosted by The Gehr family on May 22 to benefit Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA).

The Firm’s sponsorship for the annual event is supported by Director Heather L. Hintz who has been active with the organization and this fundraising event since its inception four years ago.

“I’ve supported the cause because of the enthusiasm, courage, and resilience of Michael Gehr, and the determination of the Gehr family to find a cure for FA,” Hintz said.

Friedreich’s ataxia is a hereditary disease causing progressive nervous system damage and impairing movement, among other afflictions, and new treatments are being studied in hopes of finding a cure.

The event will include live performances, dinner, and a silent auction and will be hosted at the Hilton Garden Inn in Edmond, OK. Registration can be found here and is open to the public.

To learn more about FARA click here.

Phillips Murrah Paying it Forward campaign benefits Partners in Public Health in May

Phillips Murrah Paying It Forward Header Graphic

Phillips Murrah Presents: Paying It Forward

Amplifying the message of one non-profit each month for a year

[Paying It Forward] In Dec. 2020, Phillips Murrah partnered with Oklahoma NPR radio station KGOU to sponsor broadcast announcements each month that shine a light on a selected non-profit organization. Our aim is to amplify each beneficiary organizations’ needs and goals, and to help increase awareness, drive volunteer quality and quantity, assist in fundraising support, and improve capacity to deliver service to the community.

Our beneficiary in May is Partners in Public Health, an organization that is critical to fighting COVID-19 in our community.  #PIFOKC


May Beneficiary

Partners in Public Health

PIF Partners in Public Health logo

Partners in Public Health, supporting the work of the Oklahoma City County Health Department and its health partners, is committed to improving the health and well being of our community, starting with the most frequently overlooked communities. Partners in Public Health believes that a flourishing and thriving city starts with public health. Their mission is to mobilize resources, share best practices, and encourage open collaboration between public and private organizations and policy makers to ensure a healthier community.

Contact Partners in Public Health: https://www.partnersinpublichealth.com/

DONATE to Partners in Public Health at this link: DONATE 

Partners in Public Health on Social Media:

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Previous Beneficiaries

April 2021: CASA of Oklahoma County
March 2021: The Homeless Alliance
February 2021: Mental Health Association Oklahoma
January 2021: Positive Tomorrows
December 2020: Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

Firm sponsors Make-A-Wish Pickleball Tournament

Phillips Murrah is sponsoring Make-A-Wish Foundation‘s inaugural Pickle N Wishes Pickleball Tournament on May 2.

make a wish foundation logoThe tournament will be hosted by Make-A-Wish Oklahoma’s Wish Young Professionals Council of Oklahoma City, of which Attorney Phoebe B. Mitchell serves on the Board of Directors.

“I have really enjoyed serving on the Make-A-Wish Young Professionals board,” Mitchell said. “Make-A-Wish is a very special organization whose mission is to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.

“Funds raised through Make-A-Wish go directly to giving children fighting serious illnesses their own personal experience of a lifetime. When a child’s wish is granted, it gives them hope, strength, and happiness during what can be the most difficult time for the child and their family. Make-A-Wish is important to me because I love to see our community give back to one of its most needy populations—children fighting life-threatening illnesses.”

Mitchell was recently recognized by Make-A-Wish Oklahoma as their Volunteer Rookie of the Month for March.

The event will be hosted in Oklahoma City at Chicken N Pickle, 8400 N Oklahoma Ave, and registration is still open on Make-A-Wish’s website here.

Phillips Murrah Paying it Forward campaign benefits CASA of Oklahoma County in April

Phillips Murrah Paying It Forward Header Graphic

Phillips Murrah Presents: Paying It Forward

Amplifying the message of one non-profit each month for a year

[Paying It Forward] In Dec. 2020, Phillips Murrah partnered with Oklahoma NPR radio station KGOU to sponsor broadcast announcements each month that shine a light on a selected non-profit organization. Our aim is to amplify each beneficiary organizations’ needs and goals, and to help increase awareness, drive volunteer quality and quantity, assist in fundraising support, and improve capacity to deliver service to the community.

Our beneficiary in April is CASA of Oklahoma, an organization that is critical to the wellbeing of our community.  #PIFOKC


April Beneficiary

CASA of Oklahoma County 

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Oklahoma County provides trained volunteers to be champions for the individualized best interests of children in foster care.

CASA provides a trained caring adult to advocate for the best interest of children who have been removed from their home due to abuse or neglect. CASA volunteers get to know the children and communicate with all parties in the case and people in the child’s life in order to provide complete information and sound recommendations to the court. As “the eyes and ears” of the judge, the CASA volunteer offers a neutral, third-party opinion to the court, one that is unbiased and child-focused.

Contact The Homeless Alliance: https://okcountycasa.org

DONATE to CASA at this link: https://okcountycasa.org/support/

CASA on Social Media:

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Previous Beneficiaries

March 2021: The Homeless Alliance
February 2021: Mental Health Association Oklahoma
January 2021: Positive Tomorrows
December 2020: Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

Phillips Murrah donates to Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma on behalf of ALFA International

On Friday, Nov. 20, Phillips Murrah Director Byrona J. Maule presented a donation of $2500 to Jennifer Eckert, Director of Development for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. The donation is a part of ALFA International‘s 40 Days of Giving program.

Phillips Murrah Byrona Maule donation check to Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

Phillips Murrah Director Byrona Maule, on left, presents a social distancing-friendly check to Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Director of Development, Jennifer Eckert, as a part of ALFA International’s 40 Days of Giving campaign.

Byrona chose Regional Food Bank, Oklahoma’s largest domestic hunger-relief 501(c)(3) nonprofit, as the beneficiary to help fund their important and effective work in the fight against hunger, especially as related to their Food for Kids program. Food for Kids serves children directly through four programs: Backpack Program, Kids Café, Summer Feeding and School Pantries.

“There is a critical connection between childhood nutrition and cognitive and physical development,” Byrona explained. “Nutritional deficiencies, of even a relatively short-term nature, can negatively impact a child’s health, behavior, and the ability to concentrate and perform complex tasks.”

Byrona presented our social distancing-friendly, six-foot presentation check to Jennifer to mark the occasion. Through this donation, Phillips Murrah’s ALFA #40DaysofGiving donation will be included in RFB’s Holiday Match program, which will double its impact in the community.

“The donation comes at a crucial time, as our neighbors across the state are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic downturn and a devastating ice storm,” said Stacy Dykstra, Chief Executive Officer of Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. “Thanks to the generosity of Phillips Murrah, we will be able to provide 20,000 meals to Oklahomans living with food insecurity.”

To donate to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, go to RFBO.org.

About ALFA International

ALFA International is the premier network of independent law firms, of which Phillips Murrah is the exclusive Oklahoma City member.  Founded in 1980, ALFA International was the first and continues to be one of the largest and strongest legal networks.  We have 150 members firms throughout the world.  Our 80 U.S. firms maintain offices in 95 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas.  Our 70 international firms are located throughout Europe, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Africa, Canada, Mexico and South America.

Law360’s 2020 Glass Ceiling Report: Phillips Murrah ranked for gender diversity

Phillips Murrah is proud to announce that our Firm is ranked in Law360’s 2020 Glass Ceiling Report.

Phillips Murrah Glass Ceiling Report visual

Click to enlarge.

Each year, Law360 surveys participating law firms in various size categories and ranks their percentage of female attorneys and female equity partners. They publish their findings in the Glass Ceiling Report. For the 2020 GCR, Phillips Murrah is ranked 12th in the nation for firms of 100 attorneys or less.

Click on the graphic on this page to examine details of Law360’s findings about Phillips Murrah. The full story and an interactive data graphic is HERE. The numbers used by Law360 were collected on their survey in April 2020.

“We’re pleased to receive this recognition for Phillips Murrah and its culture, which rewards talent, skill, and work ethic, and affords equal opportunities to all,” said Candace Williams Lisle, Phillips Murrah Director and Chair of our Firm’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. “Not only is Phillips Murrah a leader in the percentage of women attorneys, but more importantly, in women who have a seat at the table as equity partners and firm leaders. Our goal is not simply diversity – but equity and inclusion as well. We’re fortunate that the pool of legal talent in our region includes so many accomplished women, and that so many practice law with us at Phillips Murrah.”

Law360 Ceiling Smashers 2020 graphic

Click to enlarge.

Phillips Murrah is also featured in a Law360 article titled “These Firms Have The Most Women In Equity Partnerships,” which names our Firm among those that have the highest representation of women equity partners.

“Here are this year’s Ceiling Smashers — the top 10 firms in each law firm size category that are outpacing their peers as the legal industry works towards closing the gender gap in its top ranks.” – Law360

Phillips Murrah has a long history of elevating attorneys based on skill and talent, and we continue to lead, both locally and nationally, in our number of women attorneys and equity partners.

However, according to Law360, progress has not been easy in the overall legal industry.

“While law firms continue to tout efforts to close the gender gap in their ranks, parity is still a distant goal, our annual survey shows. Law360’s Glass Ceiling Report indicates only incremental growth in the number of female lawyers in private practice. Female attorneys remain underrepresented at U.S. law firms, particularly at the highest levels.” – Law360

Law 360 wrote that they see the Glass Ceiling Report as the beginning of a conversation that they hope will expand as they develop new ways of examining gender diversity in the profession and evaluate the data that is the most relevant to answering the difficult questions. As they continue to collect and analyze data, they also welcome your comments here.


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Phillips Murrah recognized as Champion of Justice Law Firm by Texas Access to Justice Commission

The Texas Access to Justice Commission announced Phillips Murrah is among the recipients of their Champion of Justice Law Firm Award. The Commission presents the awards to attorneys and law firms who champion and support the important work of Texas legal aid and pro bono providers.

Phillips Murrah is recognized via our Texas office, located in Dallas.

Texas Access to Justice Champion of Justice Law Firm

Click to enlarge.

About The Texas Access to Justice Commission:

The Supreme Court of Texas created the Texas Access to Justice Commission in 2001 with the mandate of expanding access to justice for low-income Texans. Because there are a variety of challenges to access to justice in Texas, the Commission’s work is necessarily multi-faceted. These are our primary areas of focus:

  • Policy Initiatives: By promoting policies that remove barriers to our judicial system, the Commission works to create a framework for equitable access to justice.

  • Resource Development: Through ongoing fundraising efforts and a strong partnership with the State Legislature, the Commission works to secure funding and other resources for legal aid across Texas.

  • Awareness and Education: By educating the legal community about access to justice issues and the importance of pro bono work, and by training legal aid lawyers to effectively advocate for their clients, the Commission seeks to expand and enhance the delivery of legal aid and pro bono services across Texas.

To contact Phillips Murrah’s Dallas office, email or call:

Janet A. Hendrick photoJanet A. Hendrick
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jahendrick@phillipsmurrah.com
214.615.6391
3710 Rawlins Street
Suite 900
Dallas, TX 75219


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Phillips Murrah maintains support of National Association of Women Lawyers as 2020 Sustaining Sponsor

National Association of Women Lawyers logo

Phillips Murrah is proud to announce its inclusion as a 2020 National Association of Women Lawyers Sustaining Sponsor, continuing the Firm’s mission to promote gender equality in the legal field.

NAWL is the nation’s oldest professional organization devoted to the interests and progress of women lawyers and women’s legal rights, and members include individual attorneys, including private practice, corporate, academic, government and non-profit attorneys, and groups, including law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations.

“NAWL has been empowering women in the legal profession for more than a century,” Director Janet A. Hendrick said. “I am proud of Phillips Murrah’s continued support of this venerable organization and its important work, and equally proud of our firm’s demonstrated commitment to advancing and supporting women in the legal profession.”

NAWL’s events and resources help bring awareness to gender-based topics and challenges within the legal profession, and the group’s advocacy initiatives address current and ongoing gender and racial equality issues across the country.

For more information, visit the NAWL website at https://www.nawl.org.

 

Phillips Murrah sponsors Positive Tomorrows at 2020 Cork & Canvas

Positive Tomorrows’ hosted its annual Cork & Canvas event, sponsored by Phillips Murrah and Director Nikki Jones Edwards, via virtual livestream on Sept. 17.

The event was originally scheduled for April 16 but was rescheduled and repurposed as an online auction event due to COVID-19. This change created an opportunity for Positive Tomorrow to air videos from supporting sponsors during the event.

Watch Phillips Murrah’s sponsor video below:

Nikki has supported Positive Tomorrows in various roles, serving as the Past President, volunteer, and four-term board member. She recently commemorated 20 years of service for the organization.

Positive Tomorrows is Oklahoma’s only elementary school specifically serving homeless children and their families and prides itself on educating at-risk children by dedicating attention to their unique educational and social service needs.

Learn more about Positive Tomorrows here.

Read more about Phillips Murrah’s support of Positive Tomorrows below:

Phillips Murrah presents Blocks for Bucks donation to Thunder Cares Foundation for 2020 season

As with the previous three years, the end of the season coincides with Phillips Murrah’s Blocks for Bucks donation to the Thunder Cares Foundation. This season, Phillips Murrah is donating $18,700.

Phillips Murrah presents Blocks For Bucks donation to OKC Thunder Cares Foundation at final regular season game

Oklahoma Law Firm Phillips Murrah presents Blocks for Bucks donation to OKC Thunder Cares Foundation

Oklahoma Law Firm Phillips Murrah presents Blocks for Bucks donation to OKC Thunder Cares Foundation.

During the final game of the 2017-2018 regular season, before a sold-out crowd, the law firm of Phillips Murrah presented a check to the Oklahoma City Thunder‘s charitable organization, the Thunder Cares Foundation.

The pre-game, mid-court check ceremony and donation of $16,700, on Wednesday, April 11, was the capstone for the season’s promotional campaign called “Blocks for Bucks,” where our Firm recognized our home team’s prowess at blocking shots by donating $100 to Thunder Cares for each blocked shot that the Thunder forced at home games during the regular season. By the end of the game, the donation had climbed to an official 2017-2018 amount of $17,000.

“The Thunder Cares Foundation is deeply appreciative of Phillips Murrah and the Blocks for Bucks campaign for this very generous donation,” said Thunder Vice President of Community Relations Christine Berney. “The impact will be felt in the community for years to come.”

Blocks for Bucks began in November of 2017, when Phillips Murrah initiated our partnership with the Thunder organization. Helping to improve the community is at the heart of of our Firm’s mission, and the prospect of achieving that through the Thunder Cares Foundation with such an exciting and entertaining campaign was irresistible.

“Phillips Murrah is proud to partner with the Thunder Cares Foundation,” said Phillips Murrah President and Managing Partner, Thomas G. Wolfe. “The Thunder has done so much in Oklahoma. We’re glad to join in their efforts.”

As the Thunder team racked up blocks throughout the season, video highlights were posted at the Blocks for Bucks page on the Thunder’s website, along with a blocks counter and a running donation amount tally.

“Working with the Thunder is an absolute pleasure,” said Phillips Murrah Marketing Director, Dave Rhea. “Being able to support Thunder Cares with this blocks campaign allows us to give back to the community while also driving home the point that, at the end of the day, we’re also huge Thunder fans!”

The Thunder Cares Foundation helps support the team’s community outreach projects, including Thunder-themed basketball courts in parks, schools and community centers across Oklahoma, as well as learning labs and activity rooms at organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma County, City Rescue Mission, and Positive Tomorrows, a school that serves homeless children in Oklahoma City. In celebration of the Thunder’s 10th season, the Thunder Cares Foundation is funding a matching grant through DonorsChoose.org in support of Health & Sports projects in public schools across Oklahoma.

In tandem with Blocks for Bucks, Phillips Murrah partnered with the Thunder to display our Firm’s brand imagery in Chesapeake Energy Arena’s lower bowl on 10 huge digital signs – which made for some very exciting photographs, along with television mentions and appearances. (see slideshow below)

 

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To repeat slideshow, type Ctrl+F5

Phillips Murrah would like to thank the Oklahoma City Thunder for a great season and the wonderful experience of supporting the Thunder Cares Foundation!


Below: At the game that kicked off our Blocks for Bucks partnership campaign, KD gets blocked during the Nov. 22 Thunder victory over the Warriors.

 

OKC Thunder TV announcer mentions BLOCKS FOR BUCKS campaign during Dallas game

Phillips Murrah’s Blocks For Bucks campaign is in high gear! Check out the video below:

OKC Thunder play-by-play announcer Brian Davis talks about Phillips Murrah’s Blocks for Bucks campaign.

Click the image below to find out more details about Blocks For Bucks benefiting Thunder Cares Foundation or go to www.nba.com/thunder/blocksforbucks.

Blocks For Bucks presented by Phillips Murrah P.C.

Phillips Murrah BLOCKS FOR BUCKS campaign mentioned on TV during OKC Thunder game

Blocks For Bucks presented by Phillips Murrah P.C.

Click to find out more details about Blocks For Bucks @ www.nba.com/thunder/blocksforbucks.

Phillips Murrah’s Blocks For Bucks campaign is in high gear! Check out the video below:

As Paul George shoots a free throw, OKC Thunder play-by-play announcer Brian Davis talks about Phillips Murrah’s Blocks for Bucks campaign.

Blocks For Bucks: Phillips Murrah partners with Thunder Cares Foundation

Blocks For Bucks presented by Phillips Murrah P.C.

Click to find out more details about Blocks For Bucks @ www.nba.com/thunder/blocksforbucks

 

“In your face!!”

It’s that old, familiar basketball smack-talk line that gets served up after a blocked shot like a one-two punch. If you’ve ever played basketball with any amount of skill, surely the feeling of shutting down your opponent’s attempt to score still resides in the halls of your memory. The excitement of a well-delivered blocked shot is one of the sport’s great thrills – perhaps even up there with the slam dunk and the alley-oop assist.

Beginning with the Nov. 22 Thunder vs. Warriors game, the law firm of Phillips Murrah began a new partnership with the Thunder Cares Foundation called Blocks For Bucks. To recognize our home team’s accomplishments in blocking shots, Phillips Murrah is donating $100 to the Thunder Cares Foundation for each blocked shot that the Thunder forces at home games during the regular season.

“Phillips Murrah is proud to partner with the Thunder Cares Foundation,” said Phillips Murrah President and Managing Partner, Thomas G. Wolfe. “The Thunder has done so much in Oklahoma. We’re glad to join in their efforts.”

The Thunder Cares Foundation helps support the team’s community outreach projects, including Thunder-themed basketball courts in parks, schools and community centers across Oklahoma, as well as learning labs and activity rooms at organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma County, City Rescue Mission, and Positive Tomorrows, a school that serves homeless children in Oklahoma City. In celebration of the Thunder’s 10th season, the Thunder Cares Foundation is funding a matching grant through DonorsChoose.org in support of Health & Sports projects in public schools across Oklahoma.

You can check into the Thunder Cares Blocks For Bucks landing page throughout the season to see an updated Blocks Counter, a total amount of funds raised and videos snippets of key blocks highlights, including the one below.

KD gets blocked during the Nov. 22 Thunder victory over the Warriors.

Phillips Murrah partners with KOSU and area Food Banks to help feed hungry children

KOSU logo, Regional Food Bank logo, Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma logoOklahoma’s children are back in school, but not every school kid has reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.

In Oklahoma, one in four children struggle with the detrimental effects of food insecurity. Phillips Murrah set out to be a part of the solution by helping feed hungry school children in our state.

With this aim in mind, Phillips Murrah is proud to announce our Challenge Grant partnership with KOSU Radio, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.

With each pledge during KOSU’s Fall 2017 Member Drive on-air fundraiser, Phillips Murrah will donate the cost of a weekend food backpack for a hungry child to the Food Banks serving Oklahoma City and Tulsa, to be distributed by the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.

“Our Firm is very active in the community, especially with regards to helping children,” said Dave Rhea, Marketing Director at Phillips Murrah. “I’m also well aware of how hard Station Director Kelly Burley works to position KOSU as a leader in supporting education. We are excited for this opportunity to get involved with the Food Banks’ mission to fight the devastating effects of childhood hunger while also supporting the important work of public radio.”

If you would like to support this Phillips Murrah Challenge Grant, starting Wednesday, Sept. 13, call 855-808-5678 or pledge at KOSU.org.

Oklahoma law firm Phillips Murrah community outreach photo. David Rhea, Marketing Director

During the recent KOSU Fall Drive, Phillips Murrah donated $5000 toward weekend backpacks full of nutritious food for Oklahoma children in need. The Regionsal Food Bank of Oklahoma and Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma will distribute the backpacks throughout the year through their Food for Kids programs. Pictures above from left: KOSU Station Director Kelly Burley, Phillips Murrah Marketing Director Dave Rhea, RFBO Director of Development Lisa Pitsiri and CFBEO Donor Relations Manager Ken Bacon.

PM Attorney graduates Leadership OKC LOYAL Program

Monica Y. Ybarra

Every year, approximately two hundred of Oklahoma City’s rising stars vie for a chance to be a member of Leadership Oklahoma City’s Linking OKC’s Young Adult Leaders (LOYAL) Program.

Phillips Murrah Attorney Monica Y. Ybarra was selected to participate in this prestigious program as a member of LOYAL Class XII. The Firm is pleased to announce Ybarra graduated from the program last week and is officially part of the Leadership Oklahoma City family.

The LOYAL Program focuses on enhancing personal leadership skills and cultivating community leadership skills. During the seven-month program, participants have unique opportunities to learn leadership skills from Oklahoma’s most influential and accomplished business people, public servants, and non-profit managers.

“Participating in LOYAL has been one of my most rewarding Oklahoma experiences,” Ybarra said. “The program offered me a chance to increase my leadership intelligence and connect to the community in so many ways.

“This program is about so much more than networking—it’s about helping motivated individuals become the leaders of tomorrow.”

Participants gain insight into topics such as board skills, human resources, public speaking, non-profit finances, ethics, and much more. Additionally, Leadership Action Projects afford participants an opportunity to apply their skills and talents to tackle substantive issues in our community.

“At Phillips Murrah P.C. we take pride in being a strategic partner for our clients and for our community,” she said. “I am very fortunate to work for an organization that not only supports my efforts to become a better attorney but also a better Oklahoman.”

Ybarra is a litigation attorney who practices family law. She represents clients in all areas of domestic and family law matters including, divorce actions, custody matters, guardianships, prenuptial agreements, and paternity actions.

Other Phillips Murrah graduates of Leadership Oklahoma City programs include Jim Roth, Signature Program Class XXII, and G. Calvin Sharpe, Signature Program Class XXIII.

Director commemorates 20 years of service for Positive Tomorrows

Nikki Edwards and Julie McDaniel

Twenty years ago, when Phillips Murrah Director Nikki Jones Edwards first set foot on the Positive Tomorrows campus, she was hooked. Two decades later, she’s still going strong and is now one of the organization’s biggest advocates.

“In law school, I thought I would graduate and work for the ACLU, or some other grassroots community organization, using my law degree to help the less fortunate or underserved in some way,” said Nikki, Chair of the Firm’s Family Law Practice Group. “Although I entered private practice, I still wanted to find ways to serve or advocate for the marginalized people in our community.” A friend introduced Nikki to Positive Tomorrows, and she was off and running.

Positive Tomorrows is Oklahoma’s only elementary school that serves homeless children. The school provides a unique blend of educational and social services to homeless children and families in hopes of providing quality education despite the unstable circumstances that homelessness can create.

In 1997, Nikki began volunteering at the school. At first, she tried to pace herself, coming into the school every month to read to the kindergarten classes. But it wasn’t long before she became a very familiar face around campus, eventually making weekly trips to the school to read. “It was the best part of my week,” she said.

NIkki Edwards, Nedra Funk, and Chris Batson Deason

Her drive and passion for the Positive Tomorrows mission did not go unnoticed. Nikki was invited to sit on the Board of Directors and she jumped at the opportunity. “I served on the Board for several years until my son, Sam, was born. I resigned from the Board to focus on Sam, but continued to support the organization through financial and in-kind donations and attending Positive Tomorrows-sponsored events.”

“During the next few years, while she wasn’t on the board, she was definitely a friend of Positive Tomorrows,” said Susan Agel, Principal and President of the Board. “We heard from her regularly and she was always available to give advice and assist in other areas. I was saddened when she resigned from the board, but I knew she had made the right decision. I resolved to wait until she was ready and invited her back again.”

When Nikki rejoined the board two years ago, she also brought the Phillips Murrah family along with her.

“Phillips Murrah not only supports my efforts at Positive Tomorrows, but the Firm and our employees have become partners to the organization as well. Some of our attorneys volunteer at the school, and the Firm contributes to various projects throughout the year,” Nikki said.

Her dedication to this at-risk population is changing lives. “We work with a very difficult population with every strike against them,” said Agel. “Our lasting legacy is to introduce a different life to children who are growing up in very difficult circumstances.”

Nikki attributes her motivation to serve to her upbringing, giving credit to her mother, Rita.

“My mom, who was one of my biggest role models, was a psychotherapist and she dedicated countless hours to volunteering and training volunteers in the area of domestic violence abuse prevention,” she said.

Nikki uses her mother’s example as a template to tackle a different community problem—homelessness. Applying the same tenacity and commitment as her mother, Nikki has been an advocate, supporter and friend to Positive Tomorrows for two decades. “Homelessness can be never-ending. It has the potential to be a vicious cycle, repeated by these kids because they emulate their parents’ actions,” she said, adding that Positive Tomorrows is part of the solution.

Kindergarten students working dress up for Dr. Seuss Day in a classroom at Positive Tomorrows.

“A professor once told me that education is the lone equalizer, and I could not agree more,” she said. “These children know that Positive Tomorrows is a safe, nurturing and calming place where they can actually learn. Public schools simply cannot provide the same holistic environment of family services and education. Public schools aren’t equipped to handle a child who is falling asleep in class because she was awake all night at the homeless shelter or was displaced in the middle of the night because her family was kicked out of a relative’s home.”

Research has shown that working with homeless children in this kind of environment can have a long-term impact on the success of a child and his or her family, Agel said. “We want children to feel a sense of control over their destiny and that’s one thing that is often lacking for people in poverty,” she said.

In addition to assisting homeless families and educating homeless children, Agel said, “Our role is to help teach the general public about poverty, in general, and homelessness in particular.”

Recently, Positive Tomorrows launched a fundraising campaign to expand the reach of their message and allow the school to provide services to more children.

“We are in the beginning stages of implementing a capital campaign to raise $10.2 million, which would allow us to double our capacity from 74 to 140 students,” Agel said. “So far this school year, we have turned away 88 students due to a lack of space and resources.”

“The new school will have space for a special education classroom and designated space for music and art, as well as a gym for PE classes. The new building will also include a severe weather safe room, which we currently do not have,” she said.

The organization plans to build the school on the NorthCare campus in Oklahoma City.

“The campus is shaping up to be a center for family and child social-emotional health, and we expect some strong programs to develop out of that partnership,” Agel said. “We’re also hearing that other nonprofits are exploring the location and we’re excited about these possibilities for future partnerships.”

Although Nikki’s commitment to Positive Tomorrows spans two decades, she’s already looking forward to the next twenty years. “I’m excited to see what’s in store for our next phase. Our capital campaign is underway, and I have no doubt that our community will rally to support Positive Tomorrows as it has done for many years.”



To learn ways to get involved with Positive Tomorrows, please visit their website here.

Phillips Murrah supports Big Brothers Big Sisters in 2017 campaigns

The beginning of Spring marks the beginning of Phillips Murrah’s sponsorship campaign for Big Brother Big Sister of Oklahoma’s Bowl for Kids’ Sake event.

The Firm kicked off its annual campaign with a Thunder ticket raffle, garnering $1,600 in donations, as the organization’s Taste of OKC event concluded Feb. 4.

Phillips Murrah served as a table sponsor for Taste of OKC, one of the marquee fundraising events for BBBSOK, at the Chevy Bricktown Events Center. The night was filled with great food from top restaurants in Oklahoma, a silent and a live auction, and then capped off with dancing to the music of My So Called Band.

Over 550 guests attended the event, which exceeded the goals and expectations the organization set, said Byrona J. Maule, Phillips Murrah Director and Member of the Board of Directors for BBBSOK.

“Every year the Taste of OKC gets better and better – in fact, the last two years the event has sold out,” she said. “Between being a table sponsor and auctioning items that guests of Phillips Murrah purchased, Phillips Murrah contributed over $9,000 to the success of the event – enough to make and support six matches for a year!”

BBBS is the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network striving to make meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6 through 18, in communities across the country.

“I’ve been involved with BBBS for over 25 years, and I’ve had four matches that spanned that time,” Maule said. “The time I have spent with my Littles has been the most rewarding and challenging times in my life.

“I’ve helped these Littles learn their multiplication tables, write essays, develop artistic and musical talents, and experience things for the first time like an OU football game, a Thunder basketball game, flying, and so many other firsts.  There is no way to put a value on this time, because the time you spend with your Little is invaluable.”

For more information on Big Brothers Big Sisters, click here.

Phillips Murrah donates neckties for Tie Day

Journal Record journalist Molly Fleming holds ties donated by Phillips Murrah. She tweeted: "Just picked up 52 ties from our neighbors @PhillipsMurrah. Thanks, everyone! #tieday"

Journal Record journalist Molly Fleming holds ties donated by Phillips Murrah.

Attorneys at our Oklahoma law firm Phillips Murrah rallied overnight to help Journal Record reporter Molly Fleming collect neckties for Tie Day.

Our attorneys donated just over 52 ties, which Molly will bring to a couple of local elementary schools, where they will be given away along with lessons on how to properly tie them.

Molly tweeted:

 JR_MollzFlem – “Just picked up 52 ties from our neighbors @PhillipsMurrah. Thanks, everyone! #tieday”

You’re welcome!

You can find out more about Tie Day here.

Team of Phillips Murrah employees participate in Race for the Cure

Phillips Murrah's Rae White, Michelle Campney, and Nanette Morris stand with two friends at Race for the Cure.

Phillips Murrah’s Rae White, Michelle Campney, Nanette Morris and her family stand at Race for the Cure.

A group of Phillips Murrah employees joined together in late October to participate in a 5K for Race for the Cure at Bicentennial Park at the Civic Center Music Hall.

“My family and I have participated in the Race for the Cure for a number of years,” Paralegal Nanette Morris said. “We have had friends, luckily not any family members, that have been affected by breast cancer and have seen how devastating the disease can be.

“Other employees of Phillips Murrah have been touched by breast cancer in a number of ways and so asking the Firm to participate was an easy decision.”

Morris, along with A. Michelle Campney, Lisa McAlister, Rae White, and their families showed their support for the cause.

“Cancer, of all kinds, has affected my friends and family and I wanted to show my support by participating,” said White.

To learn more about Race for the Cure and to find ways to donate to the cause, visit the Susan G. Komen website here.

Director Jim Roth presents for Sierra Club

Director Jim Roth presenting at the Solar Summit for Sierra Club.

Director Jim Roth presenting at the Solar Summit for Sierra Club.

Jim Roth, Director and Chair of Phillips Murrah’s Clean Energy Practice Group, presented at the Solar Summit for the Oklahoma Chapter of the Sierra Club on Saturday at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City’s Student Center.

“Jim Roth’s former role as a Corporation Commissioner and his current work on cases involving the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, along with his intelligence and his consummate people-skills, make him a perfect fit for helping to educate Oklahomans about the truth regarding solar energy,” said Johnson Bridgwater, Director of the Oklahoma Chapter of Sierra Club.

The summit is a non-partisan, public event aimed at developing discussion to help move Oklahoma from its current position at the bottom of solar-producing states to fulfill its projected capacity of becoming 6th in the nation in solar energy production, Bridgwater said.

“The summit was a great opportunity for Oklahomans to learn about our state’s native solar potential, the ability for citizens to take advantage of this free fuel source and what the energy future looks like,” Roth said.

Learn more about the Oklahoma Chapter of Sierra Club here.

Phillips Murrah sponsors Oklahoma Lawyers for Children Tennis Tournament

OLFC-Logo-Main-680x363Phillips Murrah is sponsoring this weekend’s Oklahoma Lawyers for Children David A. Kline Tennis Tournament, continuing a tradition of supporting the organization and honoring the father of one of the Firm’s Directors.

“Tsinena Bruno-Thompson is one of my very favorite people, and she has done a tremendous job as President/CEO of the Oklahoma Lawyers for Children generally and, specifically, with regard to their annual tennis tournaments,” Director Timothy D. Kline said. “My father, David A. Kline, was also exceedingly fond of Tsinena, and our family is very appreciative that his name has been associated with the OLFC’s tennis tournaments.  Additionally, we appreciate Phillips Murrah’s sponsorship of the children’s tournament for the benefit of young people in our community.”

The Firm’s attorneys have a history of representing children in the organization.

“My representation of many children over the years has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my career,” Director Fred A. Leibrock said. “I believe that I have made a significant difference in many children’s lives, especially those who at the end of their case were adopted by loving families.

“The juvenile justice system is replete of many good and hardworking people.  However, they are overworked and as a result the system can be stacked against the kids.  Lawyers for Children provides volunteer lawyers with a great opportunity to level the playing field by providing an advocate’s voice to a child who really needs that voice.  So much of what we do in the practice of law is mundane, but nothing I have ever done in a Lawyers for Children case has been ordinary or routine.”

The reward for attorneys helping Oklahoma Lawyers for Children can come with its own personal reward.

PM attorney Rodney L. Cook to speak at Juvenile Justice Center

“I enjoyed the experience of helping children who needed representation in a difficult situation,” Attorney Rodney L. Cook said. “It was a privilege to use my legal skills to assist these children.  My representation of these juvenile clients allowed me to get to know them and their situations.  I was glad to be able to make their lives better by simply giving my time to help them get to a better family environment.”

Cook was given the opportunity to present at a seminar Oklahoma Lawyers for Children will hold on Aug. 16 at the Juvenile Justice Center

“I have been asked to discuss how to most favorably present clients at trial who have deficiencies,” Cook said. “Usually children are in the DHS/Court/Foster Children program because their parents have abused them or neglected them.  If the parents refuse to relinquish their parental rights, a trial occurs where the state seeks to terminate their rights.

“Public Defenders and contract lawyers are appointed or retained to defend the parents and represent them at trial.  These lawyers have a difficult time presenting their clients in the most favorable light as possible considering the parents’ many deficiencies.  I have been asked to talk to these lawyers about how I prepare and present my civil defense clients for trial testimony who have problems with their testimony, company documents or other deficiencies.  Perhaps some of the procedures and tactics that I employ in my preparation of such witnesses can help these attorneys in the preparation of their parent clients. ”

Cook will present on Tuesday at 9:30 AM at Judge Lisa T. Davis’ courtroom at the Juvenile Justice Center in Oklahoma City.


Video via www.olfc.org

Firm employees welcome Westbrook after contract negotiations

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Stephanie Oseland, Accounting Controller, is pictured smiling in the crowd just behind Russell Westbrook at his conference. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

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Rae White, Lisa McAlister, and Michelle Munda get a good spot to better see Russell Westbrook as he arrives.

Russell Westbrook made an appearance at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on Aug. 4 to celebrate the extension of his contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder and to celebrate what Mayor Mick Cornett proclaimed Russell Westbrook Day.

Representatives from the Thunder put out a call to the public letting them know he would be at the arena to greet fans.

Although hot out, a group of Phillips Murrah employees made their way to join the crowd outside of the arena and waited to welcome him before he participated in a press conference.

Read more about the event and Westbrook’s contract renegotiation and see more pictures at NewsOK.com

Upon arriving, Westbrook took a moment to thank everyone who showed up for showing their support.

Watch a brief video of Westbrook addressing his fans below: