Merrilee has lived most of her life in Waco. She graduated from Baylor University in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in elementary education with a minor in English. Merrilee also received certificates in teaching and in the fields of language and learning disabilities and mental disabilities.
Merrilee graduated from Baylor Law School in 1978 with a Juris Doctor degree and concentration in Civil Trial Law. From 1978 to 1981, she practiced Criminal Law as Assistant McLennan County District Attorney, prosecuting misdemeanor and felony cases, including extensive courtroom work and jury trials in a wide range of areas, including capital murder cases. From 1981 to 1991, Merrilee practiced Civil Trial, Criminal Law, Family Law, and Personal Injury Law with the firm of Clark, Gorin, McDonald, Ragland, and Mangrum, and then as a partner of McDonald, Harmon, and Malone. She established her own firm in 1991, then joined Dunnam & Dunnam in 2007. During her years focusing on Criminal Law, Merrilee was a member and director of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and she was certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Criminal Law from 1983 until 1993, when she decided to concentrate on Family Law.
Merrilee is a member of the Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists, the Texas Board of Family Law Specialists and the State Bar of Texas Family Law Section. In addition to membership in the Waco-McLennan County Bar Association, she is licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas and admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and the U.S. District Court (Western District of Texas).
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