Growing up in Plano, Texas, Hamilton Grant PC’s Managing Partner Deandra Grant never pictured herself at the head of a major law firm. “I really wanted to be a vet but didn’t think I could handle seeing animals hurt,” says Grant. Fast forward 30+ years and she found a way to channel her love for animals into a VP role at Living the Doxie Dream Rescue & Sanctuary in Royse City. “I wear a lot of hats: running the law firm, raising money for the dog rescue, pulling dogs out of shelters, taking care of my family. My life is never boring.”
Grant graduated from Plano Senior High School in 1986. She attended Trinity University in San Antonio where she obtained a business degree. She came back to Dallas to attend law school at SMU. “My first class in law school was Criminal Law. I was hooked. Made the highest grade in the class. I knew what I wanted to do,” says Grant.
She started an internship at the Dallas District Attorney’s Office which turned into a job as an Assistant District Attorney. Grant left the DA’s Office at the end of 1994. “I liked working as a prosecutor but once I switched to criminal defense there was no going back for me. I knew I’d found my calling.”
In 1994 Grant opened the Law Offices of Deandra M. Grant, a criminal defense firm handling cases throughout the DFW Metroplex. In the mid-2000s Grant started focusing more on the defense of intoxication-related crimes. That involved traveling the country taking courses in breath and blood alcohol testing and field sobriety tests. The more success she had in defending DWI cases, the more other attorneys wanted to learn from her. “I was asked to present on breath alcohol testing at a legal seminar in 2007 and that opened up a whole new world for me. Suddenly I was being asked to speak all over the country on DWI law, science and trial skills,” says Grant. By 2019 she was presenting at an average of 13 legal seminars per year.
A new challenge came in 2011. Grant was invited to help re-write The Texas DWI Manual, which had been out of print for several years after the death of the original author. She and attorney Kimberly Griffin Tucker spent three years completely re-writing the book for James Publishing. The first edition was released in 2013 and it is updated annually. It is considered the go-to guide for lawyers defending DWI cases. “The book was the biggest challenge of my career. It is really hard to write a book. You never think it’s ready. Updating it each year is definitely a labor of love.”
After years of studying, writing and lecturing in the field of intoxication, Grant decided to make it official and go back to school. She was accepted into both the University of Florida’s College of Pharmacy and the College of Veterinary Medicine and in 2016 she graduated with a Masters in Pharmaceutical Science with a concentration in forensic science and a Graduate Certificate in Forensic Toxicology. She also completed the American Chemical Society’s Forensic Lawyer-Scientist program at Axion Labs in Chicago. After earning the designation, she joined the faculty at Axion as an assistant chromatography instructor and teaches four weeks each year. She added “forensic consultant” to her resume and is now retained by other attorneys to assist in their cases where intoxication is an issue. Her tag line is “The Lawyer Lawyers Call.”
After 24 years of running her own firm, Grant and her good friend, Stephen Hamilton of Lubbock, decided to merge her North Texas firm with his West Texas firm. In 2018 Hamilton Grant, PC was born. Grant says overnight she went from a firm with two offices and four staff members to a statewide firm with nine offices and over 20 staff members. “That first year was a bit crazy. It was a lot of work to grow a law firm that quickly, but we made it work. I now manage five of the nine offices and we have built an amazing team.”
Hamilton Grant is a firm that defends cases ranging from traffic tickets up to capital murder. Client communication and well-being are priorities she stresses to her team. “Being charged with a crime is a scary experience. We work hard to keep our clients informed along the way and to refer them to treatment providers if we see signs that help is needed.”
The Hamilton Grant team in North Texas includes Senior Associate Douglas Huff and Associates Makenzie Zarate and Madisen Pittman. These attorneys staff the offices in Dallas, Fort Worth, Denton and McKinney.
Douglas Huff joined the Law Offices of Deandra M. Grant in 2016 and is now a Senior Associate at Hamilton Grant, PC. An Army veteran, Huff received the Army Achievement Medal and the Army Commendation Medal during his service. He later moved to Austin and decided to go to law school. After a stint with the bar education company, Barbri, Huff ran his own firm for a few years before joining the Dallas County Public Defender’s Office in 2013. Huff defends offenses such as Capital Murder, sexual assault allegations, DWI’s and drug cases throughout North Texas. He is the proud “dad” of rescue dog, Athena.
Makenzie Zarate joined Hamilton Grant in 2020. A Texas native, she attended law school at Texas Tech University and then worked for several years at a criminal defense firm in Ellis County. Her caseload includes felonies, misdemeanors and DWI cases in Dallas, Ellis, Rockwall, Kaufman and counties further east. She is the “mom” of Dachshunds Sammy, Louie and Elvis.
Madisen Pittman began her career at Hamilton Grant as a law school intern. She joined the firm as an associate after passing the Bar Exam in 2020. A native of Rockwall, Pittman now lives in Denton and runs Hamilton Grant’s Denton office. Her caseload includes felonies, misdemeanors and DWI cases in Denton, Collin and Cooke County. She is the proud “mom” of Zoey the Pomeranian.
Hamilton Grant is very involved in dog rescue and supports Living the Doxie Dream Rescue and Sanctuary in Royse City where Deandra Grant serves as vice president. The law firm website includes photos of “Furry Friends of the Firm” and information regarding the dog rescue. “We are an office full of animal lovers,” says Grant.
Hamilton Grant, PC
3300 Oak Lawn, Ste. 700
Dallas, TX 75219