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Oklahoma Lawyers for Children celebrate the season with annual tradition

Bill O'Brien / Red Dirt Report
Tsinena Bruno Thompson gets in the holiday mood at "Twelve Days of Christmas" party at Northpark Mall in Oklahoma City.
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OKLAHOMA CITY-- Silver moonbeams shone on a row of trees covered in bright lights outside of Northpark Mall, as people entered Rococo Northpark for the annual "12 Days of Christmas" event organized by Oklahoma Lawyers for Children (OLFC).

The organization provides legal representation to minor children who have been placed in the custody of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) by the Juvenile Court of Oklahoma County through attorneys who volunteer their time and resources.

Tsinena Bruno Thompson,  the attorney who leads OLFC, explained how the organization was the result of a visit to a juvenile facility in 1996  by two prominent Oklahoma City attorneys, Don Nicholson and Kent Meyers. Minors who had been placed in the custody of OKDHS, were being held at the juvenile facility. 

Nicholson's and Meyer's concern for the young people they encountered prompted them to found a charitable organization designed to ensure that minors had legal representation.

Since that time the OLFC, located within the campus of Oklahoma City University Law School, has provided legal representation to thousands of young people and also provided training to the attorneys who volunteer their time. In addition, it has initiated a mentoring program in which attorneys provide guidance to young people who will be aging out of OKDHS custody to better prepare them for adult life.

OLFC has started a tradition of hosting an annual Christmas event at Rococo Northpark. In keeping with that tradition, the attendees, which included  Juvenile Court Judges Susan Johnson and Cassandra  Williams, were met by Ms. Bruno Thompson who was wearing a large Victorian man’s hat that had blinking Christmas lights on it. She later donned a red coat and a  long necklace that also featured such lights.

Other OLFC staffers who were in attendance directed people towards a silent auction that included bottles of liquor and poignant works of art that were made by young people in DHS custody.

As the evening progressed, Bruno-Thompson distributed copies of the words to the “Twelve Days of Christmas”  to the attendees and directed some of them to sing the different verses of that holiday tune. The resulting performance was such that the song was two more times, and some of the singers, including those who sang about the leaping lords and milking maids, physically enacted those activities by leaping in the air and pulling on imaginary udders.

At the end of the event, Bruno Thompson thanked the attendees for their support and their shared dedication to assisting the young people served by OLFC.

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About the Author

Bill O'Brien

Bill O'Brien is an attorney based in Oklahoma City.

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