ATTORNEY SINCE 1985
Bar Number: 02162600
The University of Texas School of Law
Juris Doctorate, 1985
Graduated with Honors
The University of Texas at Austin
Bachelor of Arts, 1981
Graduated with High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa
Gretchen Benolken is a Texas attorney whose career spans more than three decades and several practice areas, and who undertakes each matter with intensity, ethics, and integrity. Her forte is precision in drafting legal documents to best protect her clients and help them avoid potential pitfalls and disputes. As a certified mediator, Gretchen finds personal fulfillment assisting clients in resolving disputes, rather than litigating them. For those matters that could not be resolved informally, Gretchen has significant experience, and a long string of successes, for her clients in various administrative and judicial proceedings.
Entering her fourth decade as a practicing attorney, Gretchen has chosen to divide her professional time into a small handful of areas. First, she spends some time in the service of long time, loyal, existing clients with various needs. Second, the majority of her time is spent with new clients, providing legal services in two specific areas: a) the drafting of wills and trusts for the purpose of protection of assets, and b) representing clients in the probating of the estates of their deceased loved ones and guiding them step-by-step through this judicial process during what is a most difficult and challenging time in their life. Gretchen feels that the culmination of her 30-plus years of experience, combined with her narrow focus in regard to practice area, allows her to provide rock-solid legal representation with a very personal touch to each and every client.
After graduating from the University of Texas School of Law with honors, Gretchen was licensed as an attorney in the State of Texas in 1985. She began her career in the small Washington, D.C. office of a large Houston-based law firm, where she was an associate under the tutelage of firm partners that included Howard Baker, prior to his resigning to become President Reagan’s Chief of Staff. Gretchen’s immediate supervisor became White House Counsel at that time. While there, she had broad exposure to a number of practice areas and highly sophisticated clients. In 1988, Gretchen relocated to Dallas, Texas and worked at a small boutique firm specializing in Government Contracts law where she honed her contract and analytical skills. Three years later, Gretchen co-founded a Dallas law firm with a general business and real estate practice. She also helped several high-profile individuals gain successful results in their contract disputes.
Thereafter, Gretchen moved her practice to Denton County and grew it to become a local mid-sized firm, prior to downsizing to now being a sole practitioner. While in Denton County, Gretchen has enjoyed a stellar reputation for handling complex matters. She has provided legal services to many businesses with various legal needs, one of which was an Inc. 500 company that she assisted in drafting and negotiating contracts and in resolving a multimillion-dollar dispute. Gretchen also served as co-lead class counsel in one of the rare class action cases in modern Texas history in which a class was actually certified by the trial court. In recent years, she has drafted countless Wills and Trusts, and her court appearances have primarily been before the Collin County and Denton County Statutory Probate Courts.
Gretchen has been honored to contribute as a board member to several organizations, including the Boys & Girls Club of Denton County and the Monsignor King Outreach Center, the latter of which provides safe shelter for the homeless. Gretchen served for several years as the Probate Chair of the Denton County Bar Association Real Estate, Probate and Trust Section. She was also Co-Chair of the Finance Council for Immaculate Conception parish in Denton for many years. Two of her proudest accomplishments in that role were crafting a solution to payoff seven figure debt, and initiating and helping build the church’s first Habitat for Humanity house.