One Durant Lawer celebrated 50 years of law and counting last weekend with a party held in his honor.
Tom Criswell was born in Wichita, Kansas, on November 19, 1937, but has lived most of his life in Bryan County.
He attended law school at the University of Oklahoma, where he graduated and was admitted to the Oklahoma Bar in 1964.
He has been actively practicing law in Durant since that time. He first practiced with his father, T.O. Criswell.
The Criswell family has been in the active practice of law in Durant since 1949.
Since his father died in 1969, Tom has been in solo practice in the same location on North Third Avenue in Durant, specializing in probate, land titles, contracts, real estate closings, 1031 Exchanges and other real estate matters.
Criswell is also a licensed title insurance agent and has stayed busy writing title insurance for more than 20 years.
His son, “Cris” Criswell, also practiced law in New York City for several years before opening his own restaurant, “Swine,” in Manhattan two years ago.
Criswell’s wife, Dr. Reba Criswell, is a professor at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and also conducts “Parenting” classes for divorced and divorcing parents in the offices of Criswell Law Office. Crisswell is a long-time member of the Durant Rotary Club and stays busy helping with community projects.
Joe and Margaret Taylor (both attorneys) and their “girls,” Marna, Leah and Jocelyn, along with Judge Rocky Powers, entertained the guests with their singing, including songs such as “Smokey Joe,” and “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Lawyers.”
Criswell was given certificates and plaques of appreciation for his work with the Bryan County Bar Association.
He will also be the first to have his name on a new plaque to hang in the Bryan County Courthouse, commemorating those who have hit the 50-year mark practicing law in Bryan County.
Criswell said he has been blessed to be able to actively practice law all these years and that he has been able to meet and get to know so many wonderful people along the way, including clients, judges and other lawyers.