Sandra T. Chinn-Gilstrap PrincipalvCard

Sandra Chinn-Gilstrap practices in the areas of family and domestic law, elder law, guardian and conservatorships for adults, wills and estate planning, criminal and traffic, general corporate, real estate, personal injuries, and mental health law. Sandra joined Woods Rogers in 2012 following the acquisition of her private practice in Danville. She is fluent in Spanish, with a multicultural background and a diverse and active law practice.

Sandra is active in numerous legal and community organizations. In 2014, she was appointed to serve as faculty member of the Virginia State Bar Supreme Court of Virginia’s Justice Carrico Professionalism Course Faculty, in recognition of her commitment to upholding and elevating the highest standards of honor, integrity, and courtesy in the legal profession. She has also been recognized by Virginia Business magazine as a Legal Elite, by Her magazine as Attorney of the Year in 2011, and is an AVVO-Superb Rated Attorney.

Sandra received Danville’s People’s Choice Award in 2012, was named 2001 Business Woman of the Year by the American Business Women’s Association Victorian Chapter, and was Virginia Lawyer’s Weekly Leader in the Law Class of 2013.

She serves on the Executive Committee of the Virginia State Bar’s Conference of Local Bar Associations, and the boards of directors of the University of Virginia Club of Southern Virginia and Smart Beginnings Danville-Pittsylvania County Early Childhood Education Coalition.

Sandra has lectured, written, served as a moderator and organized seminars on various legal topics throughout her career, including:

  • Trolley, Trivia, and Tastings Ethics Seminar: Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct
  • 2014 Solo and Small Conference Regional Seminar: Course Section for Adult Guardian Ad Litem Certification and Training
  • Mental Health and the Judiciary
  • The Road Map of the Judiciary, the Mental Health Commitment Process, and Court Ordered Medical Treatment in Virginia
  • Resources for Virginia Bar Leaders
  • Virginia State Bar’s Conference of Local Bar Associations (CLBA) Bar Leaders Institute 2013
  • The Here and Now, Before the After: Estate Planning
  • Independence Through Education–Get Where You Want to Be with a Little Help
  • Virginia Special Justice Annual Conference and Mental Health Law Update 2010
  • Unlock Your Potential
  • The Law and Art of Persuasion
  • Deposition Technique

Sandra is well known in Virginia’s mental health community, having participated in thousands of mental health commitment proceedings and court-ordered medical treatment hearings since the mid-1990s. In 2010, Sandra participated on a panel of lecturers at the Virginia Special Justice Annual Conference and has served on the Supreme Court of Virginia’s Mental Health Task Force on Rules of Court.

Sandra was an adjunct professor at Danville Community College, lecturing on wills and estates, and is a former member of Danville Regional Medical Center’s Bioethics Committee for end-of-life ethical decisions facing families and physicians. Within the Danville area, Sandra has served on the Span the Dan Steering Committee and is currently active in the George Washington High School Booster Clubs, and Sacred Heart Catholic Church as Eucharist Minister and Children’s Liturgy Minister.


Danville Bar Association—Ethics CLE Creator and Coordinator (2014); Ethics CLE Coordinator (2013); Regional Conference Committee (2013-present); Danville Law Day Memorial Speaker (2011);Danville Law Day/Chairperson (1996); President, (2002-04); Secretary (2000-01); Treasurer (1999-2000); Other Danville Bar Association Service: Chairperson, Juvenile Court Judiciary Recognition Committee of Judge; September 11th Community Courthouse Vigil Coordinator; Bench Bar Committee; Programs Committee

Hispanic Bar Association of Virginia— (2014-present); Court of Appeals and Supreme Court Judiciary Selection Committee (2014)

National Association of Counsel for Children—Member (2012-present)

University of Virginia Club of Southern Virginia—Treasurer

Virginia Supreme Court—Mental Health Task Force on Rules of Court for Involuntary Commitment Proceedings (2010-11)

Virginia State Bar—Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Course Faculty (2014-present); Solo & Small Firm Practitioner Forum (2013-present); Conference of Local Bar Associations, Executive Committee (2013-present; 2006-10); General Practice Section Board (2008-10); Litigation Section Board of Governors (2008-10); Litigation Section’s Young Lawyers Liaison (2004-08); Young Lawyers Chair for Commission on Youth (1998)

Virginia Women Attorneys Association—Board of Directors (1997-2005); Secretary (2003-05); Past Service: 22nd Circuit Judiciary Selection Committee Chair

Thought Leadership

Legal Updates:

Lecturer (2014-present):

  • Virginia Mental Health Commitment and Medical Treatment Law / Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for Law Enforcement and Mental Health Communities of Southside Virginia