Born and raised in Wallace, Idaho, Virginia Amato attended the College of Idaho in Caldwell, Idaho before transferring to Eastern Washington University where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education in 1982. She continued her education at the University of Idaho receiving a Master of Science degree in 1984. Virginia then spent the next few years working, playing and umpiring softball in Boise and Spokane before entering law school in 1991.
Virginia attended Gonzaga University School of Law where she was a member of the National Appellate Advocacy Competition team, the Moot Court Honors Council, Phi Delta Phi – Brennan Inn and the Women’s Law Caucus. She graduated in 1994, took the bar exam and worked for Cece Glenn in Spokane, a small criminal defense and social security disability firm before accepting a job with the City of Spokane as an assistant city prosecutor in 1996. In 1998, Virginia moved to Pasco where she became the Municipal Prosecutor and served the citizens of Pasco until 2002. Moving to Auburn in 2002, Virginia served as Lead Prosecutor for the City before becoming a Department of Licensing Hearing Examiner. In 2004 Virginia entered private practice with the Law Office of James V. Newton, PLLC before opening her own successful criminal defense practice in Auburn in 2008.
Virginia is licensed to practice law in the State of Washington and in both the Eastern and Western Districts of the United States District Courts for Washington.