Kellie Kurtin Collier, founding partner of Collier Legal Search, L.L.C 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, strongly enhancing the company’s worth and ultimately driving it’s successful 1996 sale to an international powerhouse staffing corporation. Kellie’s entrepreneurial savvy and attention to ethics and service detail during the Briggs years mirror those tenets she brings to Collier Legal Search, L.L.C.
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 obtained 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.
Kellie Kurtin Collier
Kay Kurtin Egger, Attorney, and Co-Founder of Collier Legal Search has been in legal staffing/recruiting since the mid-1990s. She specializes in all levels of attorney placement, from project lawyer, associate to partners and groups. Also, Kay manages and works in the operations department of CLS. Kay is a 3rd generation Native-Houstonian, just like her partner and sister, Kellie. In 1986, she graduated from Memorial Senior High School. In 1990, Kay received her B.A. in Economics & Government from St. Mary’s College at Notre Dame. She attended South Texas College of Law and advanced in the school’s prestigious varsity advocacy program, and was inducted into the National Order of Barristers. Additionally, Kay received the “exclusively-given,” Thomas Justin Treece Scholarship. Kay’s law practicing career was largely at the litigation firm known in the ’90s as Fisher, Gallagher & Lewis, LLP. Soon after that, Kay began consistent work as a legal staffing specialist in Houston, Texas. She met and exceeded goals in both production and management; consideration of client and applicant needs is the priority in her service.
Kay Kurtin Egger
Attorney & Owner
Mary Claire Carmouche Upton is a fourth generation native Houstonian. She graduated from Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart in Houston Texas. She traveled to South Bend Indiana to attend and graduate from Saint Mary’s College at Notre Dame, then received her JD from South Texas College of Law in Houston, Texas. After admission to the bar, Mary Claire practiced as a litigator with the Williams Bailey Law firm for almost seven years. During her tenure at Williams Bailey, Mary Claire focused on Superfund sites, tobacco, and other personal injury dockets. Leaving the practice of law, Mary Claire joined a Fortune 500 staffing company in 2000 where she excelled at placing attorneys and legal staff. She has gained the confidence and respect of the legal community in Houston and the surrounding areas. In 2006, Mary Claire joined Collier Legal Search. She has extensive experience in working with partners, general counsels, associates and paralegals and provides a wealth of experience and skill to the Collier Legal Search team. Mary Claire is the mother of two boys. She volunteers her time by serving on boards at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart, West Point Club of Houston Parents Club and Strake Jesuit College Preparatory.
Mary Claire Carmouche Upton
Attorney, Director of Recruiting/Operations
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.
Natalie Shields brings more than 20 years of professional services and marketing experience to our team. She started her career as a litigation paralegal for Baird Holm Law Firm in Omaha, Nebraska. Leaving the law firm in 1990, she started working in the Oil & Gas Industry and has built and trained teams specializing in sales, marketing and customer service.
Natalie understands that the customer is the single most valuable asset to an organization, and her approach to customer service and client relations is unrivaled. She received her B.S Degree in Business Administration from Bellevue University and an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies.
Director Legal Staffing
With over 19 years as a certified paralegal and more than 10 years in recruiting, Angie R. Barnes came to Collier Legal Search in August 2014 as our Operations Coordinator. Since being with Collier Legal Search, Angie has successfully worked as the Contract/Temporary Desk Manager and Operations Manager. Currently, Angie is our Systems Administrator. Originally from Oklahoma, she has been in Houston for over 15 years. Angie has an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Oklahoma and her paralegal certificate from the University of Tulsa. At Collier Legal Search, Angie would say that she was able to “marry her two loves: the law and helping people.”
Angie R. Barnes
Robert Collier has been with Collier Legal Search since its 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 finance 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.
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.
Jen Murray is a Partner Recruiter at Collier Legal Search where she guides law firm partners in developing their careers and assists law firms in identifying, recruiting and placing executive-level legal talent.
Jen was born in St. Louis, Missouri but has considered Texas her home since 1999. After graduating from Texas Christian University with a B.A. in History, she worked as City Secretary for Piney Point Village, gaining valuable experience with city politics, ordinances, and election practices. This experience led Jen to pursue her law degree at South Texas College of Law, earning her J.D. in 2010.
As an attorney, Jen’s legal practice encompassed business, tax and estate planning as well as structuring complex business entities and advising on corporate governance. Jen joined Collier Legal Search in May 2018 where she enjoys developing customer relationships and helping legal professionals build their careers.