Published in 2010 Northern California Super Lawyers magazine
By Suzy Frisch on July 8, 2010
Gordon Greenwood is a firm believer in the saying, “To whom much is given, much is required,” so, along with representing clients with mesothelioma—a deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure—he devotes enormous energy to volunteering with children and the elderly.
“Elderly people and children are the most vulnerable and need the most protection, and you’ve got to do something for the people who need it most,” he says.
In addition to taking on about a dozen pro bono cases for seniors, Greenwood also spent a decade directing the youth department at the Third Baptist Church in San Francisco. Greenwood also serves on the board of, among others, Oakland’s Babe Ruth baseball league, Destined 2 Dance Studio and North Coast Express, an organization that provides academic and athletic enrichment. He chairs the board of the West Bay Community Center and is deeply involved in his firm’s foundation.
Greenwood began his career in corporate law but two years later went looking for new challenges and became a public defender. Greenwood spent eight years representing adults and juveniles in misdemeanor and felony courts. Eventually he followed a former co-worker to Kazan, McClain, Lyons, Greenwood & Harley.
Since 1998, Greenwood has fought fiercely for his clients, gaining a sense of purpose from assisting people who suffer from catastrophic illness. “We can’t heal or cure our clients, but as their lawyer we can get them compensation from the companies that are responsible for their illness,” he says. “Then their families don’t have to worry about paying their bills on top of everything else they need to worry about.
“Representing people is what gives the practice of law some meaning,” he says. “To have an impact on people’s lives is what makes law fun.”
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