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.
Heather Ulliman is a Family Law paralegal at Goranson Bain Ausley, PLLC in Dallas, Texas. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science while playing college soccer at the University of Louisiana Lafayette. After graduation she attended Tarrant County Community College and received a paralegal certification. In 2020, Heather completed her Masters in Legal Studies at Pepperdine University. She received her Texas Board of Legal Specialization Board Certified Paralegal in Family Law in 2022.
Heather is involved in Pro Bono work in the Dallas area. She co-chairs as a paralegal representative with the Dallas Young Lawyers Association Pro Bono Partners committee and assists on getting paralegals involved with their partner organizations and with attorneys. She is also the Director of District 2 for the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas.She is also very active in Big Brothers Big Sisters and is the current Greater Dallas Big Leaders Board chair and Big Sister to Little Brother Erin.
Eugene is currently employed as a Paralegal with Tenet Healthcare. My background is litigation and healthcare, duties are responding to subpoenas and working with in-house and co-counsel on various legal matters.
Eugene have worked in the legal profession for over 20 years.
Christine graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1989 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Family Counseling & Child Development.
A career as a paralegal came later in life, and for the past 10 years Christine has worked on insurance-related cases in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and New Mexico.
She earned her Certified Paralegal credential in 2019 and is employed as a paralegal and staff accounting specialist for The Ray H. Marr Foundation.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
Michele Boerder, CP, TBLS-BCP
Michele is a senior paralegal with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in Dallas, Texas and has 39 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. 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 Certification 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. She is currently an Instructor and Consultant in SMU’s Paralegal Certificate Program. [Updated as of 08/13/2020]
Cindy 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.
Octavia has been a partner in a local small business (W/MBE) since 2001. During the 15 years she was actively involved in business ownership, she obtained both her Bachelor and Master’s degrees, as well as received several certifications for Human Resources, Payroll, and Management.
In 2016, she decided to step aside from her self-employment responsibilities and joined Hunt Consolidated, a multi-billion dollar privately owned energy firm headquartered in Dallas, TX. Octavia’s employment at Hunt began in the Research & Development section of their venture capitalist division, in a department named HEE Solar. In her role as Office Manager, Octavia oversaw the day to day operations of the department. To add value to her position, in 2018, Octavia decided to pursue her Paralegal certificate from SMU. Upon successful completion of this program, she also obtained her Intellectual Property Specialist Certification from University of Texas in Austin and began a role as an IP Paralegal for HEE Solar.
In 2020, she was promoted to the role of Business Services Manager for Hunt Energy, the parent company of HEE Solar. In this position she has maintained her Paralegal responsibilities as well as acquired several additional keys roles that help ensure the success of the various start-up ventures that are initiated within Hunt.
Octavia has been married to her husband, Godswill, for 21 years and they have four children, Faith (18), Hope (17), Godswill II (14), and Gabriel (12). Octavia is a Dallas native that currently resides in Lancaster, Texas.
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 30 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-Madison. Kathy completed, with honors, the ABA approved, graduate-level, Lawyers Assistant Program at Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL.
Kathy has served in various capacities as a member of the Board of Directors of DAPA, including her current positions of Parliamentarian and Rules & Bylaws Committee Chairperson; she has also served in the past as Programs Vice President, Membership Vice President, Parliamentarian, Rules & Bylaws Committee Chairperson, Assistant Secretary and CLE Audit Committee Chairperson. Kathy received DAPA’s (a) Volunteer of the Year Award in 2006, (b) Paralegal of the Year Award in 2007 and (c) President’s Award in 2016 and 2017.
Debbi Lowe is a litigation paralegal with over 25 years of experience in the legal field. She has worked on a variety of cases such as Patent Litigation; Trademark; Commercial Litigation; Employment and Labor; Premises liability; Healthcare Litigation; Trucking Litigation; Construction Defects Litigation, and Appellate cases.
Debbi earned her Bachelor's degree from the University of North Texas and an Associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies from El Centro College.
Debbi is a member of the Dallas Area Paralegal Association (DAPA), in which she has served on several committees, served as job bank administrator, Weekly Communications Manager and Newsletter Editor. Debbi has served on the Board of Directors as the Communications Director, President-Elect, President, and currently serving as Past President Board Advisor and Public Relations Coordinator for the 2023 term. Debbi is the recipient of DAPA's President's Award in 2012 and the Paralegal of the Year Award in 2016.
Debbi is a member of the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas, in which she has served as Public Relations Sub-Chair. She is also a member of The Bar College of the State of Texas and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations.
Debbi is also a supporter of the Texas SPCA, Operation Kindness and the North Texas Food Bank.
Debbi spends her free time reading, listening to music, and gardening when time allows.
For Laura, the paralegal profession is a second career. After almost twenty years in restaurant operations, she transitioned into the legal field. Laura earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Houston. Laura later received her paralegal certificate from Southern Methodist University in 2012 and earned her Core Registered paralegal credential from the National Federation of Paralegal Associations in 2013. Laura earned her Master’s Degree in Paralegal Studies from George Washington University in 2021.
Laura currently works as a real estate paralegal with Copart in Dallas, Texas.
Laura has been an active member of the Dallas Area Paralegal Association since 2012. She has held multiple positions, including Sustaining Member Liaison (2013, 2014), Director-At-Large (2015, 2016), NFPA Secondary Representative (2016), NFPA Primary Representative (2017), President-Elect (2018), and President (2019). Laura has served as DAPA’s Executive Director since 2020. She has also given multiple CLE presentations since 2022. Her dedication to DAPA earned her the Volunteer of the Year Award (2013), the President's Award (2018), and Paralegal of the Year (2019).
Laura is also an active member of the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas. She was also nominated in 2021 to the paralegal honor society Lambda Epsilon Chi (LEX) by George Washington University.
Outside of her paralegal life, Laura enjoys spending time with friends and family, including her "Legal Beagle" Bailey. She is a Girl Scout Alum, multi-year volunteer at the Byron Nelson Golf Classic, and participates on several committees at her church. Laura is also an avid sports fan, always rooting for her Houston Cougars, Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, and Texas Rangers.