Forensic Lawyer-Scientist

About ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist Makenzie Zarate from Texas



Makenzie graduated cum laude from Texas Tech University School of Law in May 2019. She was selected to participate in the Criminal Defense Clinic during her final year of law school where she represented more than two dozen indigent clients on various criminal cases. She received the “Top Grade Award” for her work there. Makenzie was also selected for membership in the Texas Tech Law Review after completing a writing competition for which she won the Darby Dickerson Top Writing Award. This award is reserved for the student who receives the competition’s top-score. She was one of eight students selected for publication in Vol. 51 for her criminal law article entitled Bullies Behind Bars: How Changes to Statewide Cyberbullying Policy May Do More Harm Than Good.

Makenzie has been recognized for her work in indigent defense. In addition to serving on the Pro Bono Board, she received the Brendan Murray Criminal Defense Public Service Award, the Elma Moreno Graduating Student of the Year Award, the Judge Ken G. Spencer Award, and earned membership in the Pro Bono College of the State Bar of Texas three years in a row. 

Makenzie joined Deandra Grant Law in 2020 and is based in our Dallas office. She handles cases in Dallas, Ellis, Tarrant, Rockwall, Kaufman, Denton and Collin counties. Makenzie has completed the NHTSA Standardized Field Sobriety Testing course through Platt & Associates and the Forensic Chromatography course at Axion Labs in Chicago.

Makenzie spent her early years in Red Oak, Texas, and later moved to Dallas, where she graduated from Bishop Lynch High School. She went on to study at Texas Tech University, where she received a Communications degree with minors in both Legal Studies and Spanish.

In her free time, Makenzie enjoys riding her Harley, hanging out with her three dachshunds, and camping with her family. She also trains and competes in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.