Ireland Carroll & Kelley

Experienced Trial Lawyers

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6101 South Broadway, Suite 500
Tyler, Texas 75703

Tyler, TX Civil Appeals Attorney

Deborah Race

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Deborah Race regularly appears in various state and federal trial and appellate courts.  She is board certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Specialization and devotes her practice to appeals and litigation support. She also frequently serves as local counsel to national firms appearing in the Eastern District of Texas. Deborah is currently admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Courts of Appeals for the 5th and Federal Circuits, the Eastern District of Texas and all Texas courts.

Prior to joining the firm in 1996, Deborah formerly served as a briefing and research attorney for the 12th Court of Appeals in Tyler, Texas.  Deborah earned her law degree from the University of Houston. She currently serves as the president of the Smith County Bar Association.  She was previously a member of the State Board of Disciplinary Appeals after being appointed by the Texas Supreme Court in 2007. Prior to being appointed to the Board of Disciplinary Appeals, she served as chair of the District 2-A Grievance Committee. She is member of the Litigation Counsel of America and currently chair of its Appellate Practice Institute. She is currently chair-elect of the Smith County Bar Foundation and chair-elect of the Women and the Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. She previously served as President of the Smith County Bar Association. She is a Life Fellow of both the Texas Bar Foundation and Smith County Bar Foundation. She is also a member of the 5th Circuit and Federal Circuit Bar Associations and the T. John Ward American Inn of Court.

Deborah’s accomplishments have earned her a reputation for excellence among clients and peers. She holds an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review RatingSM by Martindale-Hubbell®, the highest available rating given to attorneys by their clients. She has been named as a Texas Super Lawyer - Super Lawyers is a Thompson Reuters service by Super Lawyers magazine every year since 2007. Deborah was presented the Award of Excellence by the Smith County Bar in 2009, which is an award given in recognition of service to the community by a local attorney, and was a member of the Leadership Texas Class of 1997.

Outside of the courtroom, Deborah is active in the community.  She currently serves on the boards of Habitat for Humanity of Smith County, where she chaired its 25th Anniversary Gala in 2015, and Women's Fund of Smith County.  She has previously served as the president of Hospice of East Texas, Path and the former Humane Society of Smith County.

Practice areas


Bar admissions

  • Texas, 1982
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1992
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1988
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit, 2009
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas, 1990


  • University of Houston Law Center, J.D., 1982
  • Baylor College of Dentistry, B.S., 1976

Professional affiliations and memberships

Pro bono activities

  • Active volunteer with Smith County Bar Foundation and Lone Star Legal Aid
  • Smith County Bar, Pro Bono Committee, Chairman, 1995 – 1997
  • State Bar of Texas, Appellate Section, Pro Bono Committee, Member, 1996 – 1997

Professional experience

  • Attorney, Ireland, Carroll & Kelley, 1996 – present
  • Solo practice, 1988 – 1996
  • Briefing and Research Attorney, 12th Court of Appeals, Tyler, TX, 1985 – 1987
  • Regional Coordinator, West Publishing Company, 1982 – 1985