As a Houston Native, Fiza Syed witnessed early on the snowball effect poor legal representation can have when she volunteered at local legal justice clinics. Early on, she knew she wanted to pursue a law career. After college graduation, Ms. Syed interned at the Attorney General Child Support Division to better understand family legal matters. She then moved to Dallas to complete law school at SMU Dedman School of Law.
During law school, she interned and clerked at various law firms in order to obtain real-life experience in criminal, family and business law. While in law school, she also worked as a student attorney at the SMU Tax Clinic in order to help working-class individuals and families obtain legal services with tax law. Upon graduation and admittance to the State Bar of Texas, Ms. Syed served as general counsel for several small businesses and real estate companies. During her time as such, she regularly negotiated contracts, purchase sale agreements, and sophisticated settlements. She assisted clients in strategic business and tax planning in order to avoid legal pitfalls in the future.
She believes in passionate advocacy on behalf of her clients and will do her best to obtain the best outcome for her clients. Her practice focuses on criminal and family issues.
With knowledge, experience, and passion, Merchant Law provides unparalleled service to our clients. Our team of paralegals, law clerks, investigators, and an attorney will research, and bring about the most effective resolution, in order to ensure our clients get the most competent and diligent legal representation possible.
We are proud that so many of our clients have repeatedly turned to us for counsel and representation. We are determined to work hard to earn our clients loyalty every day.
Meet The Team
Attorney Daphne Benford-Smith is a recently licensed law school graduate from the TSU Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston, Texas. She received her degree from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas with a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology. Some of her biggest law school accomplishments include being Executive Editor of the TMSL Law Journal on Gender, Race, and Justice, interning for the Honorable Judge George Powell of the 351st Federal Criminal Court, and working as a law clerk for the Honorable Judge Elaine Hubbard-Palmer in the 215th Civil District Court. She was also awarded a top 10 speaker award for the TUMCA moot court competition while in undergrad recognized for her exceptional argument skills and writing. Attorney Daphne was also a Dean’s list recipient for three semesters in a row while in law school. She will soon be published in the nationally acclaimed Gaming Law Review for an article she completed while in law school. Attorney Benford-Smith is passionate about family law cases and is happy to be apart of the Merchant Law Firm team.
Salina Dagda was born in Boston, MA and raised in Connecticut. She studied Criminal Justice and recently relocated to Texas. She is multilingual and takes great pride in using this skill to help others. Salina believes in giving clients exceptional service and is assiduous with her duties. In her spare time, Salina enjoys traveling and fitness.
Gabriela was born in Brunswick, GA. She graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the College of Coastal Georgia. She has a passion for helping others and does whatever she can to help clients.
Frank Gonzalez was born and raised in Houston, TX. He attended & graduated from University of Houston in 2017 with a Bachelors Degree in Accounting all while working various jobs in different fields & gaining experience & knowledge along the way. In 2013, Frank decided to take a different career path and starting working customer service and appointment setting jobs. He enjoys working with the firm and speaking with various people, as well as providing them with the best customer service experience he can when they come into the office. He is currently applying for Law School on path to joining our team as a lawyer.