Brief History and General Information

The Dallas Association of Legal Assistants was formed on October 23, 1976. The organization's Bylaws were adopted in 1977 and have been periodically revised in response to the changing needs and sophistication of the Association. In October 1996, the Association's members voted to change the name of the organization to the Dallas Area Paralegal Association. The goals of DAPA are to:

  • Promote the professional objectives and goals of paralegals;
  • Encourage, promote and conduct programs of continuing legal education and professional development;
  • Adopt codes of ethics and standards of conduct governing its members; and
  • Promote the advancement of professionalism for paralegals.

In 1978, DAPA became a member association of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. ("NFPA"). NFPA represents approximately 9,000 paralegals nationwide. DAPA has been active in various local bar association projects, including Law Day activities, National Moot Court Competition and pro bono work. DAPA also provides service-oriented functions and seminars for the community as well as for its members.

DAPA publishes a newsletter, On the Record (the "Newsletter") and a weekly update, E-news (the "E-news"). The Newsletter is either sent to each member in hard copy form or posted on the Association's website, (the "Website") and notification of such posting is sent via e-mail, as soon as practicable after such posting, to each member who has provided the Association with a valid e-mail address. The E-news is sent every Monday (except when a Monday is a federal holiday, in which case the E-news will be sent the next business day), via e-mail to each member who has provided the Association with a valid e-mail address.

DAPA awards scholarship(s) annually to students enrolled in paralegal programs at local schools. Additionally, DAPA members are often selected to speak at seminars, teach in local paralegal programs and serve on the boards of directors of various corporations serving the paralegal community. DAPA continues to strive to attain the goals established in 1976.

DAPA celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2011.

DAPA is a non-profit corporation pursuant to Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended. DAPA is composed of paralegals working in all areas of the law, who are interested not only in furthering their own professional development, but are also dedicated to the advancement of the paralegal professional as a whole. The purposes of DAPA are to:

  • Promote the professional development of the paralegal profession;
  • Foster creative expansion of paralegal roles;
  • Offer continuing legal education to paralegals;
  • Educate employers and consumers about the utilization of paralegals as an integral part in the delivery of legal services;
  • Maintain relationships with local, state and national bar associations;
  • Communicate with other paralegal associations; and
  • Provide services to the legal community.


Below is a list of DAPA's past presidents:

2019  Laura Kehoe, CRP

2018 Kelli Smith, CRP

2017 Debra S. "Deb" Albright

2016 Kristy Geron, RP

2015 Eugene Alcala

2014 Lisa Lynch, CRP

2013 Karen Cole Smith 

2012 Lan Giang Lam, RP 

2011 Candy Ryan, CRP 

2010 Cindy Welch, RP 

2009 Melissa M. Leslie 

2008 Jay Williams 

2007 Lourdes Bugarin 

2006 Allen Mihecoby, CLAS, RP 

2005 Cheryl A. Fisher, R.N. 

2004  Anne Blankenship 

2003 Debbie Weldon 

2002 Ann Moore 

2001 Rita Parker 

2000 S. Kristine Farmer, TBLS, RP 

1999-2000 Susan Custer 

1998-1999 Cynthia Minchillo, TBLS, RP 

1997-1998 Dawn M. Weed 

1996-1997 Debbie Oaks 

1995-1995 Ruby C. Byers 

1994-1995 Patricia Haynes 

1993-1994 Susan Scott 

1992-1993 Debbie Morrison 

1991-1992 Paul Zavalney 

1990-1991 Frances Whiteside 

1989-1990 Loretta Nesbitt 

1988-1989 Michele Boerder, CP, TBLS 

1987-1988 Lyla Hines 

1986-1987 Vicki Pierce Chadwick 

1984-1986 Pamela Young 

1984 Carol Winklemann 

1983-1984 Cindy Mankus 

1982-1983 Mary "Z" Locke 

1981-1982 Kathryn Quain 

1980-1981 Martha Adamson 

1979-1980 Susan Gideon 

1978-1979 Jean Guzzetta 

1977-1978 Barbara Middleton 

1976-1977 June Tilley


Below is a list of DAPA's Paralegal of the Year Recipients: 

2019 Laura Kehoe, CRP

2018 Sheila White

2017 Melissa Marquez Leslie

2016 Debbi Lowe

2015 Debbie Albright

2014 Lisa Lynch, CRP

2013 Kelli Smith, CRP 

2012 Holly Atchley 

2011 Cindy Welch, RP 

2010 Mariela E. Cawthon, CP, TBLS 

2009 Laura J. Tapper 

2008 Christian Andersen 

2007 Katherine Connell 

2006 Kay Redburn 

2005 Debbie Oaks Guerra 

2004 Lourdes Bugarin 

2003 Kim Cantu, CP 

2002 S. Kristine Farmer, TBLS, RP 

2001 Stephanie Hawkes, RP 

2000 Rita A. Parker 

1999 Rebecca M. Savino 

1998 Wendi A. Rogers, CP, TBLS 

1997 Cynthia Minchillo, TBLS, RP 

1996 Sally Andress, RP 

1995 Michele Boerder, CP, TBLS 

1994 Frances Whiteside 

1993 Debbie Morrison

Below is a list of DAPA's  Michele M. Boerder Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients: 

2015 Jay Williams, TBLS-BCP

2014 Cynthia Minchillo, RP

2013 Allen Mihecoby, CLAS, RP 

2006 Michele M. Boerder, CP, TBLS-BCP




DAPA, celebrating our 40th anniversary.

Dallas Area Paralegal Association

Donations to DAPA's Scholarship Fund are greatly appreciated (Note: Donations are not tax deductible)


Join us on LinkedIn   Join us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter

Disclaimer — Terms of Use

© Copyright 2018, Dallas Area Paralegal Association, All Rights Reserved.