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Virginia W. Greenway, Attorney at Law

What is my approach to cases and clients?Photo of Ms Greenway

There is no type of law more interesting and gratifying than criminal defense.  When I graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law, my goal in life was to become a federal prosecutor.  I worked for a time at a Dallas law firm and then became a state prosecutor in Austin.  I soon became disillusioned with the politics of the job and the institutional unfairness of the justice system.  I left that job and launched my career in criminal defense in 2003, opening my own law office in 2004. 

As one colleague put it, there is probably no other job in the law that is as highly entertaining as criminal defense.  It is true we meet interesting people, deal with fascinating fact scenarios, and daily understand that truth is stranger than fiction.  Far more important than that however, is the awesome opportunity one has in criminal defense to help people.  It is both an honor and a solemn duty that I take very seriously. 

As I tell my clients, I am very greedy about results.  It is not enough to take the first offer, or many times, the second, third, or fourth offer from the State if I think I can do better for my client.  I put my full effort into each and every case and will not rest until the most just result is obtained for my client, whether that is dismissal, a plea to a reduced charge, an improved probation recommendation, or a lesser amount of jail time.  Each case is different and each client is different, but what my clients can take to the bank is the knowledge that I will get their case resolved to their satisfaction and will never settle for less than the best offer that can be negotiated.  I do not run a “plea mill.”

When a case cannot be worked out, I am not afraid of going to trial and the State knows it.  They also know how hard I work.  For this reason, my clients rarely have to go to trial to get the result they want.  Nevertheless, I strive for excellence in trial as well and am a sustaining member of the College of the State Bar of Texas (an honorarium only 10% of Texas lawyers achieve).

I also control my case volume so that I can practice in a way that makes me comfortable that each client is getting the attention he or she deserves.   I do not advertise and thus avoid the pitfalls of a high volume practice.  Instead, I have focused from the inception of my office on doing good work and relying on word of mouth from satisfied clients.  This business model has served me well and my clients appreciate the ready access they have to me when questions arise.  I answer my own phone and I return calls and e-mails promptly.  This degree of personal attention would not be possible if I focused on volume instead of the specific needs of each client. 

Lastly, I treat my clients with the compassion and respect they deserve.  I understand that while their case may be one of many for me, it may be all consuming for them.  I am not dismissive of their concerns and I follow the edict to treat others as I would want to be treated.  The environment of mutual respect that develops assists both lawyer and client as we navigate the often murky waters of the legal system together.  Related to showing respect for the client is showing compassion for the client.  I never forget that we are called attorneys and counselors at law for a reason.  In addition to all of the work we do in court to defend a case, we also must work with the client to understand their unique circumstances and help them get the assistance they need if necessary.  We must be good listeners and attuned to people’s emotional cues. 

I always tell clients that I don’t like repeat business because repeat business means they have gotten in trouble again.  I would prefer that clients stay out of trouble and get on a path toward a healthier, happier life.  If drug or alcohol abuse is an issue, I will try to point my clients toward the help they say they need.  If diagnosed or undiagnosed mental health issues become apparent, I will work with the client to find resources to address those concerns.  Simply put, while these issues do not come up in every case, I am prepared and willing to assist clients for whom intervention is needed while I work to defend them against the criminal charges.  I view this as taking a holistic approach to criminal defense.  If the lawyer turns a blind eye to an underlying issue that may be leading to criminal conduct, the chances for re-arrest down the line are much higher.  My clients are not statistics to me, they’re people, and I try to treat them as such.

I hope you and your friends and loved ones never need the services of a criminal defense attorney, but if you do, rest assured that you are in competent, compassionate, and dedicated hands if you hire me.