Debra S. "Deb" Albright
Debbie is an Associate Paralegal for Dean Foods Company, a food and beverage company that processes and distributes milk, various other dairy products and dairy-related branded products. Debbie is a member of the legal team embedded with the Supply Chain division and assists with the purchasing transactions for the company. Debbie received her Paralegal certification from the University of North Texas.
Previous to working for Dean, Debbie was with Equifax Services, Inc. serving in many capacities but primarily specializing in insurance claims fraud and the management of multiple investigative teams in connection with the defense of insurance companies. She held multiple certifications in fraud investigation and claims adjustment.
Previous to becoming Treasurer for DAPA, Debbie also served on the Entertainment Committee for DAPA in 2010.
Debbie lives in Frisco and is the proud grandmother of two beautiful grandsons, Noah and Sam.
Michele Boerder, CP, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Board Certified - Civil Trial Law
Michele Boerder is a litigation paralegal with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in Dallas, Texas and has 34 years of experience. She holds a bachelor's and master's degree from the University of North Texas and an A.A. from the El Centro College Paralegal Program in 1979. She is a Board Certified Paralegal - Civil Trial, Texas Board of Legal Specialization and a Certified Paralegal ("CP" through NALA) as well as a past President of the Paralegal Division, State Bar of Texas and a past President of the Dallas Area Paralegal Association. Michele has also served on the State Bar of Texas Paralegal Committee, the TBLS Paralegal Civil Trial Commission, NFPA's Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam Standards Committee, and Paralegal Today magazine's editorial review board. She received the Dallas Area Paralegal Association's Paralegal of the Year Award in 1995, NFPA's Paralegal of the Year award in 2005,the Dallas Area Paralegal Association Lifetime Achievement award in 2006 and NFPA's Robie Leadership Award in 2011.
Mariela Evora Cawthon, CP, TBLS-BCP
Mariela E. Cawthon, CP, TBLC-BCP has more than 20 years of experience as a paralegal and is currently employed as a senior litigation paralegal with the lawfirm of Lynn Tillotson & Pinker, a commercial litigation firm. She has been with LTPC for over 13 years. Mariela earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University in 1993, with degrees in Spanish and Political Science. In 1996, she took the National Legal Assistant Association’s (NALA) exam and earned her CP designation. In December 2004, Mariela became a Board Certified Paralegal in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Mariela joined DAPA in June 1997. In addition to serving on several committees including Paralegal Day, Holiday Luncheon and Career Day, Mariela was the Chair of DAPA’s Pro Bono Committee/Community Services Committee from April 2004 through December 2007. She served as DAPA’s Membership Vice President in 2005 and 2006, and she has chaired the Mentor/Protégé Committee and the CLE Audit Committee. Mariela won the the Pro Bono award in 2005, the President's Award in 2006, DAPA's Paralegal of the Year award in 2010 and NFPA's Paralegal of the Year Award in 2011. She hals also served on NFPA's Budget Committee in 2016 and NFPA's Regulation Committee in 2017.
Mariela has been written numerous articles for DAPA's On The Record during her tenure on the DAPA Board. Her articles focused on Pro Bono and Membership actitvities. In addition to her duties with DAPA, Mariela served as a District Director for the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas from 2012-2014. She also served on the Division's Membership Committee from 2009-2012. She also has had articles published in the Divisions The Paralegal Journal.
In addition to her duties with DAPA and the Division, Mariela has also given numerous CLEs on topics such as Trial Preparation and the Role of the Paralegal in a lawfirm. She has presented these topics for both her peers at DAPA and the Division, as well as for her firm.
Mariela and her husband are the proud parents of a Son. With the assistance of her Husband, she is actively involved with the Cub Scout organization as a Den Leader. In this role, Mariela and Don are able to help the boys prepare for their future and to teach them useful tools to improve their lives and the values by which they live as they grow to become young men. Mariela also volunteers at her Son's school whenever possible by assisting with field trips, classroom activities and in other areas of need at his school. Mariela also participates in a feed the homeless program with the Many Helping Hands organization.
Andrea M. Clark
Kathy K. Connell
Katherine K. Connell (Kathy) is an Assistant Secretary & Senior Paralegal for Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc., a publicly-held mortgage services company. Kathy has more than 25 years of experience as a paralegal in the areas of corporate securities, contracts, banking and finance, real estate, corporate governance, subsidiary maintenance and various areas of regulatory law. She received her Bachelors of Arts Degree, with a major in Political Science, and certificates in Integrated Liberal Studies and Women’s Studies, from the University of Wisconsin. Kathy completed, with honors, the ABA approved, Lawyers Assistant Program at Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL.
Kathy has served in various capacities as a member of the Board of Directors of the Dallas Area Paralegal Association (“DAPA”), including her current positions of Parliamentarian, Rules and Bylaws Committee Chairperson, CLE Audit Committee Chairperson and Assistant Secretary, she has also served in the past as Membership Vice President, Parliamentarian, Rules and Bylaws Committee Chairperson and Assistant Secretary. Kathy received DAPA’s Volunteer of the Year Award in 2006 and Paralegal of the Year Award in 2007.
Kathy is also a member of the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas and the Paralegal Program Advisory Board of Kaplan College, Dallas, TX.
Kathy Davis, PLS
Kathy Davis is a paralegal for James S. Robertson, III at the law firm of Glast, Phillips & Murray, P.C. since November 2001. Kathy obtained her paralegal certificate in 1991, obtained credentials as a certified legal professional in 1997, and is listed in the United Who's Who Executive and Professional Registry. Kathy is currently serving as DAPA's Website Administrator and has also served as DAPA's treasurer for 6 years and has served as a committee member on numerous committees.
Lisa is from Buffalo, New York and has worked as a paralegal for 15 years. She works in the area of Workers’ Compensation as an insurance defense paralegal. She assists attorneys with preparing workers’ compensation claims for hearings before an administrative board.
Lisa has been a member of DAPA since 2001. Lisa received her Paralegal Certificate from Kaplan College and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Texas A& M University-Commerce.
Floy Gaidarski earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Southern Methodist University in 2013. She joined the Dallas Area Paralegal Association as a student member before her graduation from the SMU Paralegal Certificate Program in 2015 and became Corporate Section Chair and voting member of DAPA shortly thereafter. She is currently serving on DAPA's Board of Directors as the Director at Large, Scholarship Committee Chair, and Corporate Section Chair. Floy is the Executive Vice President of Abruzzo Woodworks LLC where she provides paralegal services for the company's corporate matters. She has lived in Dallas for over 20 years.
Melody Johnson, CP
Melody is a graduate of Florida Metropolitan University in 1993 with an Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies. Melody became Certified through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) in 2006. For over 20 years, Melody has worked in a variety of large document production, complex litigation, construction litigation and personal injury cases, etc. In 2007, Melody relocated from Orlando, Florida and began her employment with Heygood Orr & Pearson, where she was the Senior Lead Paralegal in the hundreds of pharmaceutical cases filed against the Fentanyl manufacturers. The Fentanyl manufacturers were producing defective Fentanyl patches that delivered an uncontrolled and unintended amount of Fentanyl, causing patients to overdose, resulting in serious and potentially fatal side effects, and ultimately death. These pharmaceutical cases were filed in State and Federal Court nationwide. In 2012, Melody joined Ramey Law Firm running a 1+ attorney law firm as Senior Litigation Paralegal and Office Administrator. Melody believes the best part of working in the personal injury industry is that you have the opportunity to help people who are feeling overwhelmed by something that was not their fault. Taking the stress away from the client and allowing them to focus on their health and well-being is my top priority. In her spare time, Melody enjoys traveling with her husband, cooking, singing in her Church choir, entertaining and decorating.
Shenna Lawless is a Senior Paralegal at The Law Office of Anne Ashby, PLLC. She has more than 13 years of professional experience in the legal field, much of that time dedicated in the ADR field. Shenna graduated from Texas Woman's University with a Bachelor of Science in Government with an emphasis in Legal Studies. She is a member of the Paralegal Division State Bar of Texas, Dallas Area Paralegal Association, and a legal professional member of the American Bar Association and Collin County Bar Association. She proudly served as a paralegal with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corp, assisting judges and Army lawyers with legal matters and judicial work all over the world, including Seoul, South Korea and Tikrit, Iraq.
Beyond the office doors, faith and family serve as a foundation for her life. Shenna loves spending time with her husband and toddler twins.
Melissa Leslie, TBLS-BCP
Melissa has been working as a family law paralegal for the past 23 years and is board certified in family law.
Melissa began her DAPA volunteerism as the Vendor Advisor in 2006-2007. In 2007, she also served as Professional Development Director and won Volunteer of the Year. She was President-Elect in 2008, and President of DAPA in 2009. In 2010, she served as Board Advisor and NFPA Secondary. She was elected NFPA Primary for 2011 and served through October when she was elected VP and Director of Marketing for NFPA. Melissa held her position on the NFPA board for 4 years. In 2017, Melissa was named DAPA’s Paralegal of the Year.
Melissa graduated with a BA in Political Science from Sam Houston State University and earned her paralegal certificate with honors from the Southeastern Paralegal Institute. Personally, Melissa and her husband, Carey, raise guide dog puppies for Southeastern Guidedogs, Inc. in Palmetto, Florida. They have been named to the Puppy Raiser Hall of Fame with induction in 2018. They are currently raising their 17th puppy and will pick-up #18 in late February.
Debbi Lowe is a litigation paralegal with over 20 years of experience in the legal field. She has worked on a variety of cases such as Patent Litigation, Trademark, Commerical Litigation, Employment, Personal Injury and Appellate cases. Debbi earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas and an Associates degree in Paralegal Studies from El Centro College.
Debbi joined DAPA as a student member in 1998. She became an active member in 2003. In 2010, Debbi served as Job Bank Administrator until the summer of 2011. She has served as Weekly Communications Manager distributing the Weekly E News since 2011. Debbi is the board advisor for the Job Bank Administrator and Website Administrator. She also serves as the Newsletter Editor and is a mentor in DAPA’s Mentor/Protégé Program. Debbi is the recipient of DAPA's 2012 President's Award.
She is a member of the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas and The Bar College of the State of Texas.
She is a supporter of Dallas Komen in which she participates yearly in the Dallas Komen Race for the Cure. Debbi is also a supporter of the Texas SPCA, Operation Kindness and the North Texas Food Bank.
Debbi spends her free time gardening, reading, listening to music, and spoiling her dog or as she likes to call her “furry child”.
Cynthia Minchillo, RP®
Cynthia Minchillo obtained her paralegal certificate and began working as a paralegal in Dallas in 1988. She became a Board Certified Paralegal by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Personal Injury Trial Law in 1996, and maintained this designation through April of 2014. She earned her Registered Paralegal designation from NFPA in 1997, and obtained her B.A. in Government and Politics in 2000 and an M.P.A. in Public Affairs in 2003 from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Cynthia is a paralegal with Chalker Flores, LLP and is a member of the Dallas Area Paralegal Association (DAPA), the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA), and the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas (PD). She has held various elected and appointed positions with these associations, including serving as the Litigation Section chair, NFPA Primary Representative, and President of DAPA between 1994 and 2008, and as the ABA Paralegal Program Approval Commission Representative for NFPA from 2007-2011. Cynthia also served as the blogger for the PD from 2012 to 2018. She earned the distinction of DAPA’s Paralegal of the Year in 1997, and the Michele M. Boerder Lifetime Achievement Award, Volunteer of the Year Award, and NFPA’s Outstanding Local Leadership Award in 2014.
She has been a frequent presenter and author on various continuing legal education topics for paralegals. Cynthia is a proud adjunct faculty member of Collin College’s paralegal program, and served as an adjunct faculty member of El Centro College’s paralegal program for many years. She is the author of her own blog, “Cynthetics,” Co-founder of the Wendi Atwood Rogers Memorial Fund to raise money for community grants and provide free mentorship programs, and part-time equestrian.
Mary E. Morman, CP
Mary E Morman, CP is currently working as a Licensing/Credentialing Paralegal at Catapult Health in Dallas. Over the years, Mary has worked in litigation, in foreclosure both multi-family and single-family, real estate and bankruptcy both corporate and individual.
Mary has been involved with the Dallas Area Paralegal Association since she joined as a student member in 2005. In 2011 DAPA’s Collin County Section Chair; again in 2014 DAPA’s Collin County Section Chair and also DAPA’s Co-Chair for Community Service & Pro-Bono, again in 2015 DAPA’s Collin County Section Chair and has just been appointed to the DAPA Board of Directors as VP Programs.
Mary has been active in volunteering and paralegal associations since she graduated from El Centro College's ABA Accredited Paralegal Studies program in May of 2005. Mary became a Certified Paralegal with NALA (National Association of Legal Assistants & Paralegals) in January 2006. Mary earned her BAAS (Bachelor's of Applied Arts & Sciences) from Texas A&M University-Commerce in May 2010.
Mary was honored with DAPA’s 2006 Pro Bono Service Award and was again honored with DAPA’s 2015 Volunteer of the Year Award.
Cindy Moss earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Southwest Texas State University in 1998. She received her Paralegal Certificate through the University of North Texas Professional Development Institute in 2012. She joined the Dallas Area Paralegal Association in 2016 as a student member while attending El Centro College to earn her Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies in 2017. She is currently employed as a paralegal at The Silvera Firm. She moved to Coppell from Austin with her husband and cat in 2015. While Cindy pursues a wide variety of interests, she is especially an avid reader and knitter.
Kay Redburn, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Board Certified - Family Law
Kay Redburn has been a paralegal in Family Law since 1983 and has worked with Brian L. Webb and The Webb Family Law Firm since 1992. Kay is a Board Certified Paralegal in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization; is a Charter Member (Paralegal) of the State Bar College; is a member of the Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists (TAFLS); the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas; the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Texas; as well as DAPA. She received the "Paralegal of the Year Award from DAPA in 2006 and the President's Award from TAFLS in 2008. She is also the chair of the Paralegal Studies Program Advisory Committee at El Centro College and does volunteer work with the Mesquite Police Department.
Hilary works with corporate counsel at Walker & Doepfner, P.C. in Addison, Texas. Her work involves civil and business litigation matters as well as employment, contract law and real property issues. In her previous position, she worked as a Global Immigration paralegal. She has a paralegal certificate from SMU and a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Southern Illinois University. She has been a member of DAPA since 2015 and brings an extensive business background that includes corporate sales, management, marketing and customer development. Hilary is from Springfield, Illinois and currently lives in Plano, Texas.
Michelle Roberts, ACP
Michelle Roberts is an Advanced Certified Paralegal and is employed in the Intellectual Property Section of Locke Lord LLP. Her responsibilities include patent, trademark and copyright prosecution and litigation matters. Michelle holds advanced certifications in both patent and trademark law.
Michelle obtained her paralegal certificate in 2005 from the Southeastern Career Institute in Dallas (now Kaplan College) and soon thereafter, became a nationally certified paralegal specializing in litigation, criminal law and estate planning.
In addition, Michelle worked as a former Federal Courtroom Deputy for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and also has extensive appellate law experience working as an assistant to a State of Texas Supreme Court Judge. She is a certified jury consultant and has had the rare opportunity of supervising voir dire jury examinations for civil and criminal cases. Michelle has been a DAPA member since 2007.
Candy Ryan, CRP™
Candy Ryan, CRP™ is a Litigation Paralegal at the firm of Beirne Maynard and Parsons, LLP. Ms. Ryan has extensive experience handling such diverse matters as commercial litigation, insurance defense, bankruptcy, business and corporate, probate and trust, real estate, trucking and railroad, as well as family law. She has ably assisted attorneys with commercial and business litigation case management, in both federal and state courts in numerous jurisdictions, including, Texas, California, Washington, Oregon, Arkansas, Oklahoma and others.
Ms. Ryan has been an active part of the legal community since 1979 in Seattle, San Diego and Dallas. She is a graduate of the University of San Diego, ABA accredited Paralegal Studies Program (1988) and has specialized in litigation for more than 25 years. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Legal Studies from California Creek University in 2015. She is very proud to be one of the initial 16 paralegals to be certified by the National Federation of Paralegal Association (NFPA) as a CORE Registered Paralegal in the State of Texas and one of the first 200 CRPs in the United States. She has also served DAPA for many years as Chair of the Litigation section since 2009, President-Elect (2010), President (2011), Education Vice President (2012-2013), and NFPA Association Coordinator (2014). She currently serves on the Everest College Paralegal Program Advisory Commission (2009-2015), as well as, past board advisor for ITT Technical College and the Court Reporting Institute. She was a former member of DALA and President of the San Luis Obispo County Paralegal Association (1989 - California).
She has been a certified Divemaster since 1995 and has enjoyed working with dive groups in Texas, Florida, Mexico and Belize.
Kelli Smith, CRP™
Kelli Smith brings a comprehensive background coupled with her numerous years of experience working in the legal industry to the Dallas Area Paralegal Association and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations. Kelli is an Assistant Vice President, Senior Paralegal in the Legal Affairs Department of Dallas-based PlainsCapital Corporation, a diversified Dallas-based financial services company, and one of the largest Bank Holding Companies in Texas.
Prior to joining PlainsCapital, Kelli worked for seven years as a litigation paralegal specializing in bankruptcy and mortgage litigation at Locke Lord, LLP, a full-service, international law firm. Prior to joining Locke Lord, Kelli worked for nine years as a legal assistant for Centex Corporation, a Fortune 250 company and one of the nation's premier companies in homebuilding, financial services, home services and commercial contracting.
Kelli obtained her AAS in Management from Eastfield College in 2006, and in 2011, was one of the first 148 paralegals in the nation who passed the Paralegal CORE Competency Exam® pilot test administered at 12 test sites across the country. Sixteen Texas paralegals passed the exam earning the CRPTM credential.
While attending Eastfield, Kelli was chosen by the college to serve in their Texas Legislative Internship Program where she interned for Texas State Senator John Carona. Kelli also served as Executive Vice President, then Chapter President of the Psi Eta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, International Honor Society of the Two-Year College, where she received nominations for Distinguished Chapter Officer and Distinguished Chapter President, and was voted into the Texas Hall of Honor for Distinguished Members. During her tenure as Chapter President, she received numerous honors and awards including the Guistwhite Scholar (highest honor in Phi Theta Kappa), All-USA Academic Team, All State Academic Team, Who's Who Among Students in America's Junior Colleges, and National Dean’s List.
Kelli has been a member of DAPA since 2008, serving on the Board of Directors since 2011, and has held various positions within the organization including Vendor Co-Advisor from 2009 through 2012, Professional Development Director in 2011, Director-at-Large from 2012 and 2013, Membership Vice President, NFPA Primary in 2014 and 2016, DAPA's Education Vice President in 2015, and currently serves as President-Elect. In 2015, Kelli was also appointed NFPA's Internal Marketing Coordinator at the national level, and serves as NFPA's Association Co-Coordinator since 2015, as well as on NFPA's Ethics Board since 2016.
Kelli has served and continues to serve on several committees including NFPA Convention Planning Committee, Scholarship Committee, Mentor/Protégé Committee, Paralegal Day Committee, Holiday Luncheon Committee, and Membership Committee. Kelli is also a member of the State Bar of Texas-Paralegal Division and was Co-Chair for the 2013 Annual Meeting Planning Committee. In 2013, Kelli was the recipient of the Dallas Area Paralegal Association’s Paralegal of the Year Award.
Kelli currently volunteers for, and is a 16-year veteran and 2017 Co-Chairperson over nearly 200 Corporate Venue Volunteers at the Byron Nelson Golf Classic, volunteering on behalf of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the quality of life of young people through education and mental health services. Kelli is also a former charter member, volunteer, and computer software training instructor at The Women’s Museum, where she taught beginning-level computer software training classes to underprivileged women in the greater Dallas area. She currently participates in DAPA’s Mentor/Protégé program and is a volunteer with the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program.
Sunja Smith has been a paralegal for over 20 years. She currently works as a Defense Litigation Paralegal at Downs Stanford, P.C. She began her career as a paralegal in 1989 at Kondos & Kondos in Richardson. She has worked as a litigation paralegal in several firms in Dallas, Irving and Richardson specializing in family law, product liability, workers compensation, oil and gas, medical malpractice, subrogation, patent infringement, personal injury, construction and commercial litigation cases. Sunja graduated from Northwood University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Business Administration and earned a Paralegal Certificate from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2002.
Sunja has been a member of the Dallas Area Paralegal Association (“DAPA”) since 2015 and looks forward to more years as an active member. Sunja was recently appointed DAPA’s Public Relations Committee Chair.
She is the Vice President of the Women’s Ministry at her church. She is the Volunteer Coordinator at her daughter’s school as well as a foster mom for a local agency in Dallas.
In addition to her duties with DAPA, Women’s Ministry, and her daughter’s school, Sunja enjoys spending her free time with her daughter and fiancé.
Cindy Welch, RP®
After graduating from the University of Texas at Dallas School with a B.S. in Business Administration, Cindy Welch, RP went to El Centro Community College for her paralegal certificate. While currently working in the areas of family law and employment law, her previous work experience includes working for a group of trial consultants and a national mediation and arbitration firm. She also spent 10 years as an instructor for paralegal students.
She is the author of many articles for The National Paralegal Reporter and has written for the Texas Paralegal Journal. Over the years, Cindy has served her local association, the Dallas Area Paralegal Association (DAPA) in several elected and appointed positions before joining the board of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) where she served as Region II Director (2010-2012) and Vice President & Director of Membership (2012-2015). In addition to membership in NFPA and DAPA, Cindy has been a member of the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas for almost 20 years.
Cindy became a PACE Registered Paralegal® in 2001.
My name is Sheila L. White and I have been a paralegal for fifteen years. I currently work in the Legal Department for Dean Foods Company as a Senior Paralegal with a primary focus on contracts for the Procurement Department of the company. The majority of my career has been in the areas of Banking and Corporate Law. I graduated from Texas Woman’s University in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications. I have been an active member of Dallas Area Paralegal Association since 1995. I served on the Board of Directors as Secretary from 1997 to 1999. I also served as the advisor for the Mentor Program and I have been the chairperson of the Elections Committee since 2005. I will be celebrating 16 years of marriage with my husband Michael. We have one daughter named Morgan and she is 8 years old. I love reading, shopping and spending time with my family.
KaTina Whitfield, CRP™, ALP
I have been a paralegal for 16 years. I began my legal journey in civil litigation and later working at Vial Hamilton Koch & Knox, and as such, I am extremely well versed on all civil proceedings including: small claims and property and asset negotiation. I've had the opportunity to work with attorneys who specialize in family, bankruptcy, probate and criminal law. I thrive in a high-volume and deadline-intensive environment. I received commendations for my trial preparation work, ability to handle complex assignments and dedicated support of senior attorneys. I demonstrated due diligence in preparing hundreds of discovery demands, motions and case-status reports and managed clients from diverse backgrounds.
I am currently the Senior Paralegal for the public finance firm Mahomes Bolden, PC. Over the years, MBPC has taught me how to engage with each person as if they are your equal. I understand that the leader is only as good as those who are following. High morale and treating everyone with respect is key to a successful organization. Because of our teamwork, my supervising attorney and I have been featured in "Dynamic Duo, Attorney and Paralegal Teamwork" panels. Our firm is often recognized for the stellar assistance we provide to our clients.
My professional affiliations include:
National Federation of Paralegal Association
- Received 2017 Paralegal of the Year Award
- Certified "Core Registered Paralegal"
- Ethics and Responsibilities Coordinator
- Author "Highlight on Ethics in the Legal Profession" bi-monthly edition of Inside Reporter
Dallas Area Paralegal Association
- Pro Bono Committee/Community Service Chair
J. L. Turner – Paralegal Section
- Vice President/President Elect 2018
National Association of Legal Professionals
- Certified as "Accredited Legal Professional"
State Bar of Texas – Paralegal Division
National Association of Bond Lawyers – Paralegal Division
Jay Williams, TBLS-BCP
Jay M. Williams, TBLS-BCP is a paralegal with Langford Wise & Farahmand, PLLC. Jay received his paralegal certificate from ESS College of Business in Dallas in September 1990 and began his legal career at the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Fort Worth in December 1990. Since then he has accumulated a diverse legal background, gaining experience in federal criminal defense, real estate, tax, wills and estate planning, mergers and acquisitions, employment, probate, business and commercial litigation, bankruptcy, and homeowners’ association representation. Since 2000, Jay has focused his career on plaintiff personal injury litigation cases.
Jay joined the Dallas Area Paralegal Association (DAPA) and was appointed Professional Development Director in 2004. He was reelected Professional Development Director for the 2005 term, and then took over as Programs Vice President. Jay was then elected to a full term as Programs Vice President in 2006, and elected President-Elect in 2007. In 2008, Jay had the honor and pleasure to serve as President of DAPA. He then served again as Programs Vice President in 2010. Jay has served on numerous committees, including the Holiday Lunch Committee in 2005 – 2008 (Chair in 2005 and 2006), the Paralegal Day Celebration Committee in 2006 – 2008, 2010 – 2012, and 2014 - 2016 (serving as emcee for the 2010 and 2011 events), a member of and emcee/speaker at the Career Day Event in 2007, speaker at the 2013 and 2016 Career Day Events, and a member of the Elections, Rules & Bylaws, NFPA Committees, and the NFPA Convention Planning Committee for the 2014 NFPA Convention. He also participated in Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program Pro Bono clinics from 2005 – 2007, and beginning again in 2015 to present. In 2008, he spearheaded the first Joint CLE Event with the North Texas Paralegal Association and returned in 2016 to revamp the event to include collaboration with the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas. Jay was awarded DAPA’s Michele M. Boerder Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015.
Jay was a member of the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas from 2005 – 2007, and rejoined the Division in 2012. He served as Public Relations Committee Sub chair, Co-Chair of the 2013 Annual Meeting Committee, and Chair of the Professional Development Committee in 2013-14. He was elected District 2 Director in 2014 and 2016, and was elected to serve as Treasurer in 2015 and 2016. Jay became a Board Certified Paralegal in Civil Trial Law through the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 2013, and in Personal Injury Trial Law in 2015.
Jay has served in various capacities in the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA), including member of the Legislative Committee 2007, Legislative Coordinator 2008, 2011, Budget Committee member 2010 – 2012, and Legislative Review Committee member 2014 – 2016. In July 2009, he was voted to fill the unexpired term as Vice President and Director of Profession Development in 2009. Jay has also been a member of the American Association for Justice (formerly American Trial Lawyers Association) since 2005.
Jay is an avid bowler and sings at various opries and clubs around the Dallas area. He dutifully supports his husband Ken with the Classic Chassis Car Club of Dallas.
Education: Graduated Heald Business College – San Francisco, CA, 1982 (Paralegal Certificate – Corporate and Tax Law); Graduated UT Arlington 2001 (B.A. English).
Experience: Have worked over 20 years as a paralegal. Employed at Lackey Hershman, LLP, Dallas, Texas, November 2005 to Present.
Affiliations: Member of Dallas Area Paralegal Association, (DAPA) 2006.
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