More from Teresa Meinders Burkett for Oklahoma Super Lawyers

In another excerpt from our interview with Teresa Meinders Burkett, the partner at Tulsa's Conner & Winters talks about how she relaxes outside of her complicated health care practice.

OKSLRS11-Burkett.jpgWhat do you do in your free time, to unwind from your practice?

Well, I love to canoe, and my husband and I are leaving on a rafting trip on Friday to go down the Yampa River in Colorado. Getting outside in nature is probably the best way for me to unwind. We head over to the Buffalo National River for canoeing six to eight times a year and camp out on gravel bars and play with our Labrador retriever.

You also spend time doing nonprofit work?

I don't have children, and I don't like to watch television, therefore, [laughs] I have time to work on a lot of different initiatives in our community. I've been on the board and served as board president for quite awhile for a group called Community Service Council of Greater Tulsa and that is kind of our human services think tank that has developed the child care resource center where we helped people get high-quality child care for working families with subsidies that are based on the quality of the care provided. We're the group that worked on getting Oklahoma to the top in something really good, which is early childhood education. We have a 4-year-old program in our public schools, open to all children in Oklahoma, and we had the highest enrollment rate in the country for children in preschool. That means those kids are going to school ready to learn.

My husband and I are on the advisory board for [the Mental Health Association in Tulsa] and I served on that board for six years. With the Mental Health Association, we're providing housing for the homeless in a really dynamic way that not many cities in the country are able to do: providing housing first without demanding that the residents undergo treatment. Once they are in a safe environment and are fed and have access to a safe place to live, then the treatment is offered. That has really turned around a lot of our homeless population in Tulsa. And I'm on the City Parks Board where we work on the zoo, the garden center, Gilcrease Museum, as well as making our parks accessible and enjoyable for all the families in Tulsa.

We're really busy with a lot of good things here. We've got Tulsa Community College, which offers a free ride for any high school graduate in Tulsa County who wants to go to college and otherwise can't afford to. And I'm on that board of trustees and we're working real hard to provide funding to make sure that anybody who lives in our community who wants to go to college can.

Read the Q&A in Oklahoma Super Lawyers, out in November.