Our Beginning

Houston Paralegal Association (HPA) started out as an idea among several NALA-certified paralegals in the Houston area who felt that their needs were not being met by the local professional associations. Those paralegals, including Ruth Silva [Conley], Rannie Kelly, Barbara Howell, Sheilah Taylor, Lu Poole, Patti Gunning and Adele Spivey began talking to other paralegals about forming a professional association dedicated to providing opportunities for obtaining affordable continuing legal education and networking.

Initially, these paralegals met with others in July, 1999 at a social held at Birraporetti’s Restaurant that was sponsored by Firehouse Records Company. The group was small but the enthusiasm was gigantic. Another meeting was held in August to review a draft of the bylaws and to officially elect officers. That meeting, held at Massas Restaurant, was sponsored by IKON Documents, which not only paid for the dinner but brought champagne for the occasion. Discussion about the bylaws took place and several suggestions were made before they were adopted in draft form. HPA decided to not assert affiliation with national association at that time, but spend the next couple of years growing the association. Officers elected were: Ruth Silva [Conley], President; Rannie Kelly, 1st Vice President (Programs); Sue Smith, 2nd Vice President (Membership); Lenore Millspaugh, Recording Secretary; Sheilah Taylor, Public Relations; Patti Gunning, Parliamentarian, and Lu Poole, Historian. Later, these officers talked Nancy Turner into serving as Treasurer.

The first official Board meeting was held in November, 1999. In addition to minor revisions to the bylaws, officers voted on several projects, including a seminar which would award CLE credits and a charity event which would be held in conjunction with a Holiday social in December.

About HPA

Since that time, HPA has grown into the leading paralegal association in the Greater Houston area.  In October 2004, HPA was the first Houston paralegal association to be affiliated with the National Association of Legal Assistants/Paralegals. HPA members have held positions on various NALA Committees and five HPA Presidents were chosen to participate in LEAP, NALA's leadership training program that was offered from 2007 - 2014.  We have the most affordable membership fees of any local paralegal association and have only raised our membership fees once in our 20-plus year history.

HPA offers free CLE opportunities every month and hosts a CLE Conference in Galveston every Spring. We also provide a minimum of four networking socials per year, in February (Go Texan Social), April (CLE Conference Social), June (Summer Social), and December (Holiday Social).

HPA strives to assist paralegals reach their certification goals. We hold a yearly CP Exam Study Group/Review course that is open to all paralegals across the state.

Our Presidents  

Ruth A. Silva (Conley), ACP 
Rannie Kelly, TBLS-BCP
Lu Poole, CP
Terri Matthies, CP
Charie Turner, CP, TBLS-BCP
Ruth S. Conley, ACP 
Gina Shannon (Holder)
Gina Shannon (Holder)
Charie Turner, CP, TBLS- BCP
Ruth S. Conley, ACP 
Ellen Roth
Rhonda Harshbarger, CP 
Rodolfo “Rudy” Cuellar, Jr.  
2012-2013 Christina C. Ladyman, CP
2013-2014 Carla Valenzuela, CP
2014-2015 Gina Holder
2015-2016 Montye Holmes, TBLS-BCP, ACP
2016-2017 Stephanie Rodriguez, ACP, TBLS-BCP
2017-2018 Montye Holmes, TBLS-BCP, ACP
2018-2019 Linda Carrette, TBLS-BCP, ACP
2019-2020  Sharon Jones, ACP
2020-2021  Ruth S. Conley, ACP
2021-2022  Linda Carrette, TBLS-BCP, ACP


Houston Paralegal Association

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