The Gates Law Firm has superb staff here to help you through your legal problems and situations. Read on to learn about the folks who are here to help.
J. Keith Gates
Louisiana courts can be a scary place. Building upon real life experiences, excellent legal training, and a superb work history, Keith Gates is here to guide you through whatever court process you may be encountering.
Keith was born in Natchitoches, raised in Goldonna, and is proud to call the area home. Keith is a 2000 graduate of Lakeview High School where he was co-valedictorian, graduating with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Keith attended Northwestern State University where he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, gaining a minor in political science along the way. Keith also received the American FFA Degree while in undergraduate work, after having served as a State FFA Officer for two years.
Keith then studied for three years at the Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center in Baton Rouge where he received both a Juris Doctor degree and a Bachelor of Civil Law degree. While at LSU, Keith became actively involved in the College Republican organization, serving two terms as the State Chairman of College Republicans in Louisiana and also two terms as Chairman of the Southern Caucus of the College Republican National Committee.
After law school Keith clerked as a research attorney for the Hon. Justice Jeffrey P. Victory of the Louisiana Supreme Court in New Orleans, the highest court in Louisiana. Keith worked in all areas of Louisiana law including appellate, constitutional, criminal, election, family, property, sales, workers’ compensation and many others.
Following his clerkship Keith worked in private practice in Lafayette, Louisiana, for a number of years defending and bringing various types of civil claims, including offshore injuries, workers’ compensation injuries, auto accidents, construction defects and business litigation.
In the summer of 2011, Keith left for Washington, D.C., where he and three other attorneys founded Cause of Action, a non-partisan organization that uses public advocacy and legal reform tools to ensure greater transparency in government, protect taxpayer interests and promote economic freedom. Keith served as one of two senior attorneys, growing Cause of Action to a multi-attorney organization dedicated to attacking waste, fraud, mismanagement and corruption in the federal government.
Thereafter, Keith came home to North Louisiana to fulfill his dream and open the Gates Law Firm. Keith represents clients in many different types of matters that run the gamut of Louisiana and Federal law. Keith strives to stay current in areas of law that impact the lives and livelihoods of his friends and neighbors in The Great State.
Keith is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Louisiana and all other Louisiana state courts, the United States Supreme Court, the Federal District Courts for the Western and Eastern Districts of Louisiana, and the United States Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia. He is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association and represents Winn Parish in its House of Delegates. Keith is also an active member of the Masonic fraternity, holding membership in Goldonna Lodge in Goldonna, Hope Lodge in Lafayette, and O.K. Allen Lodge in Winnfield. Additionally, Keith serves as the Grand Organist of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, Free and Accepted Masons and Grand Commander of the KTLA.
Samantha Vines Kelly, building upon her years in the legal industry in multiple states, meets clients’ needs every day as the firm’s paralegal. A native of Winn Parish, Samantha is a 2002 graduate of Georgetown High School where she was valedictorian. Samantha is also a 2014 cum laude graduate of the Forbes School of Business at Ashford University where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration. Prior to joining the Gates Law Firm, Samantha worked in legal positions in Louisiana and Oklahoma, and also managed her family’s restaurant in Louisiana.
Samantha is a former Justice of the Peace, having been elected to serve her fellow citizens as a JP in Winn Parish.
Samantha serves as the firm’s paralegal and is actively involved in new client intake, trial and hearing preparation, and all other aspects of the firm’s practice.
Outside of work, Samantha is an active member of the Pilot Club and Rotary Club.
Samantha and her husband have five children and are proud to call Louisiana home.
Eva is the firms administrative secretary and the first person most folks see or hear when contacting our firm. Eva earned her Associate’s Degree from the Louisiana Technical College in Natchitoches. She worked for the Natchitoches Parish school system for a number of years before retiring and joining the firm full time. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her grandkids and Earl the Lawyer Dog.
Jonathan R. McDow
Jonathan was born in Alexandria, Louisiana and raised in Winnfield, Louisiana. He currently resides in Tannehill, Louisiana and is proud to call the Winn Parish area his home. Jonathan graduated from Winnfield Senior High School in 2008, and after graduation he attended Northwestern State University where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in December 2014.
Then, after three years of legal studies, Jonathan obtained his Juris Doctor degree from Mississippi College School of Law in May 2018 and was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar Association in October 2018. While attending Mississippi College School of Law, Jonathan interned at criminal defense firms and the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, and used his legal knowledge in the family court system to help the courts decide child custody matters and assist with adoptions.
Upon graduation from law school, Jonathan returned to Winnfield, Louisiana to become an attorney in his hometown. Jonathan is a member of the First Baptist Church in Winnfield, Louisiana and is the father of two daughters. His oldest daughter attends Winnfield Primary School and his youngest daughter attends the daycare at the First Baptist Church of Winnfield, Louisiana.
Jonathan is currently an attorney at The Gates Law Firm located in Winnfield, Louisiana. His areas of practice include, but are not limited to land disputes, family law, personal injury, and criminal law.