Lawyers for Disputes,
Trials and Appeals
The lawyers at our firm typically start their careers with a judicial clerkship and/or several years at one of the nation’s largest and most respected firms. We attract attorneys who wish to continue to have the highest quality legal work, but prefer the informality and atmosphere of a small firm. We are uncompromising in hiring only the most exceptionally qualified lawyers, in terms of both academic background and hands-on experience in litigation and appeals.
Darbi Thomas is a Texas native who earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science and a graduate degree in Legal Studies from Texas State University. She has broad experience as a litigation paralegal. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, friends and her beloved pets, Zeus, a German Shepherd, and the tiny chihuahua who bullies him, Dr. Roo. Darbi also enjoys yoga and being outdoors, especially on the water.
Shelley Smith obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State University in 1991. She obtained her paralegal training from Southeastern Paralegal Institute in Dallas and has been a legal assistant/paralegal since 1994. She has experience in both plaintiff and defense civil litigation, business formation, eminent domain, and appellate work. Maddison Decker and Maria Sepulveda are Shelley’s assistants.
Laura Wassman graduated from Minnesota School of Business with her Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees in paralegal studies. She joined Skelton & Woody with almost 10 years of paralegal experience in litigation and transactional law, including: workers’ compensation defense, employment law, estate planning, business, aviation, and family law. She works primarily with Hamp Skelton, Alysia Wightman, and Eva Ramos on insurance and non-insurance matters, expert reports, and appeals. Alexis Faber is Laura’s assistant.
Emma Smith earned her associate’s Degree in Applied Sciences with a focus in Paralegal in 2022 from Austin Community College after immigrating to the US from Scotland in the United Kingdom. Outside of work Emma enjoys taking walks with her fiancé and playing with her pet cat, Archimedes (or Archie for short!)
Alexis Faber graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising with her Associate’s Degree in Marketing/Business. She stepped away from the fashion industry in 2022 and decided to dive into the legal field. After a few short months of exposure at Skelton & Woody, she knew she had finally found her passion and niche. She began as a legal assistant and worked her way toward becoming a paralegal. She recently applied to the University of Texas at Austin and was accepted. She has future plans of attending UT Austin with the goal of becoming an attorney. Away from the office, she enjoys spending time with he 3 pet cats Stella, Pookie, and Toast. She also enjoys exploring Texas, attending concerts, film photography, and spending as much time as possible with family.
Barrett Tomek graduated from Baylor University in 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Public Relations. He has brought his skills to a wide variety of fields including Public Relations, Software Contracting, Journalism and Law. He obtained his Paralegal Certificate in 2022 and started at Skelton & Woody in 2023. Outside of work, he enjoys watching sports, reading, and spending time with his friends and family.
Braden Ward is a dynamic professional with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Tarleton State University, which he earned in 2022. Although he previously worked in management roles across different industries, his passion for law led him to gain valuable experience working in a criminal defense law firm, where he developed a keen understanding of legal processes and client advocacy. Leveraging this background, Braden joined Skelton & Woody in 2023. Outside of his professional endeavors, Braden finds joy in running, spending quality time with friends and family, and experiencing new adventures.
Our clients should feel free to call any of our paralegals or legal assistants for anything they need. They can put their hands on a document, answer many important questions, and get our clients what they need quickly.
Debbie Tucker is our office manager and bookkeeper. Debbie received her Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Texas Lutheran University in Seguin Texas. She joined Skelton & Woody PLLC in 1996 from Brown McCarroll. She is always available to answer any billing-related question or to connect our clients with the right person to answer their question. Catarina Prado is Debbie’s Administrative Assistant.