Collier Legal Search

Meet Our Team


A Century of Experience

The Collier Legal Search team is comprised of two founding partners and eight employees. Together, our group has over 100 years of experience in the legal staffing industry. We are well known for repeat business; candidates and clients alike return to us month after month and year after year. Stability being key in the human services industry, Collier Legal Search’s reputation for excellence is unwavering.
Our founders, Kellie Collier and Kay Egger are third generation Houstonians with a vast and well-aged network. In our efforts to consistently expand our footprint, we carefully chose our team of internal placement specialists. Most of our team have both academic and practical experience in the legal field. Some of us were trial attorneys— others, legal assistants. Our ability to understand the law separates us from the competition. As is the practice of law, choosing to be a placement specialist at Collier Legal Search is a career making professional decision. Working here is not merely a “job.”
Collier Legal Search, LLC provides equal opportunities to all applicants and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation or any other unlawful criteria.

Kellie Kurtin Collier, C.P.C., C.T.S.

Kellie Kurtin Collier, a founding Partner of Collier Legal Search, LLC, has been a recruiter since 1984, specializing as a legal recruiter since 1988. At that time in 1988, Kellie established, built, and managed the very successful Houston company, then known as Briggs Legal Staffing. Under Kellie’s leadership, the Houston Briggs operation quickly became the company’s national cornerstone, actively enhancing the company’s worth and ultimately driving its successful 1996 sale to an international powerhouse staffing corporation.A third-generation native Houstonian, Kellie graduated from Memorial High School before attending Texas A&M University and obtaining her B.S. in Communications. Quickly after entering the staffing industry, she sat for the national certification exams and received her C.P.C. (Certified Personnel Certificate) and C.T.S. (Certified Temporary Staffing Specialist) designations – a rare dual mark reflecting excellence in ethics, knowledge, and service.

Kay Kurtin Egger, Attorney at Law

Kay Kurtin Egger, Attorney at Law and co-founding Partner of Collier Legal Search, is a 3rd generation Native-Houstonian. Kay graduated in 1986 from Memorial Senior High School. In 1990, Kay received her Bachelor of Arts from Saint Mary’s College at Notre Dame in two concentrations: Economics & Government. This academic foundation led her to South Texas College of Law, where Kay excelled in T. Gerald Treece’s advocacy program earning the distinctive honor of being named into the National Order of Barristers. Kay also received the exclusively given Thomas Justin Treece Scholarship. Upon graduation and passage of the Texas Bar Exam in 1993, Kay worked for over 3 years first as a law clerk, then as a briefing attorney, at the litigation firm then known as Fisher, Gallagher & Lewis, LLP. It was at FG&L that Kay practiced the majority of her personal injury (maritime/aviation) litigation career. Soon after that, Kay began her legal placement career with a Fortune 500 global staffing company. She both met and far exceeded goals in both production and management. Specifically driving attorney placement, Kay managed her legal division to #1 in gross margin worldwide, year over year. In January 2004, Kay became a Partner of Collier Legal Search. Kay is a member of the Associate of Woman Attorneys, Houston Chapter.

Mary Claire Carmouche Upton

Mary Claire Carmouche Upton is a fourth-generation native Houstonian. She graduated from Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart in Houston, Texas. Mary Claire then attended and graduated from Saint Mary’s College at Notre Dame in 1989. A second-generation attorney, Mary Claire, received her JD from South Texas College of Law in 1992. Beginning in 1992, Mary Claire practiced law as a personal injury (Superfund/prominent tobacco/toxic tort) litigator with the Williams Bailey Law firm for nearly seven years. Recruited by Kay Egger to leave the practice of law in 2000, Mary Claire joined Kay’s legal placement team, quickly surpassing all expectations. In 2006, Mary Claire joined Collier Legal Search. She has a vast network and referral base as the result of extensive experience in working with partners, general counsels, associates, and paralegals.

Robert Collier

Robert Collier has been with Collier Legal Search since it’s founding managing the back-office functions of payroll, accounting, information technology, and benefits administration. After receiving an MBA in Finance from The University of St. Thomas in 1993 he has held various senior positions in gas accounting, IT financial management, procurement and IT contract administration with various energy companies in Houston. At Collier Legal Search, Robert strives to provide accurate financial reporting to the team helping achieve a clear focus on company goals and objectives.

Monte Houston

Monte Houston has been in Business Development positions for more than 16 years. She started her career as a stockbroker and financial advisor with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.During this time, Monte was assigned to a team of brokers who assisted departing Exxon employees with investing in their 401K plans and stock options. Later employed by a MetLife subsidiary, Monte earned the loyalty of Memorial Hermann employees by serving as their financial advisor. She served in legal administration at Baker Botts for six years. Monte graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Houston and is currently a member of the Houston Symphony Guild and a local singing group.

Jessica Gordon-Ford

Jessica Gordon-Ford is a second-generation native Houstonian. She graduated in 1998 from Bellaire High School and remained in Houston where she obtained her B.A. in English Literature at the University of Houston. Jessica received her J.D. from South Texas College of Law in 2009. Jessica started the Gordon-Ford Law Firm where she practiced family and estate planning law. In addition to the practice of law, Jessica has experience in customer service, development, marketing, and sales. Jessica was very excited to combine her passion to help people and her legal education by joining the Collier Legal Search in May 2016.

Andrea Geohegan

Andrea Geohegan joined the Collier Legal Search team in May 2021. She specializes in the recruitment and placement of attorneys and paralegals in Houston and throughout Texas. Andrea attended the University of Texas for both her undergraduate work and law school, graduating with honors. After a full-term clerkship with the 1stCourt of Appeals from 2011-2012, she worked in litigation as an associate attorney–the last many years for a prestigious, Houston-based civil litigation law firm. Andrea has a lasting, top reputation for providing thoughtful, smart solutions to clients. She now brings her expertise to legal recruiting.

Sarah Villaseñor

Sarah Villaseñor is a native Houstonian, and she joined the Collier Legal Search team in late Fall 2021. Sarah attended Stratford High School in Houston then graduated with honors in 2013 from Austin College (Bachelor of Arts in English). Sarah worked as a paralegal in the intellectual property arena before joining Houston Christian High School’s business alumnae relations/event planning team. She has natural instincts to build relationships while supporting others to advance both personally and professionally. Sarah joins the CLS veteran team to continue the group’s long-standing tradition of solid legal recruitment and placement of quality attorneys and paralegals in Houston and throughout Texas. Personally, Sarah loves to travel and will always say, “family is everything.” She is bilingual in Spanish.

Amanda Smothers

Amanda Smothers joined CLS as Legal Recruiting Executive in Spring 2022. She previously worked as a litigation paralegal in Northwest Louisiana. Amanda has 10+ years of high-level customer service and she brings her honest, detailed work ethic to our established team. CLS delights in Amanda’s joyful disposition and she will focus on professional legal staff placement efforts with the company. Amanda studied Political Science at LSU-Shreveport. She has 4 children; together with her husband, they are making their mark on the Houston, TX scene!