When attorney Yvette Ostolaza isn’t in the courtroom, she’s often playing leadership roles in Dallas cultural organizations.
The Miami-raised daughter of Cuban immigrants moved to Texas after graduating from law school at the University of Miami in 1992.
“I’m very proud of being a role model to many women … and diverse attorneys,” Ostolaza said, noting there weren’t many like her when she started practicing 30 years ago.
“I’ve been able to build a loyal following of clients across the world who have looked at me for counseling, not only to help them with litigation or investigations or board advice,” she said.
Ostolaza made headlines back in 2013 when she was among 50 lawyers and staffers who left the Dallas office of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, where she’d worked for about 22 years, for Sidley, as our sister publication D Magazine reported.
The Chicago-based law firm boasts 2,000 lawyers in 20 offices worldwide and is famously where former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama met.
“What I liked when they reached out was that it was not only a global firm that had 20 plus offices across the globe where my clients were located but also, culturally, it was a firm that was very pro-diversity and had a lot of female leaders,” Ostolaza said of Sidley. “In Texas, we’ve expanded quite a bit. In Dallas alone, we’ll have over 170 employees by the end of the year.”
She was recently elected to chair the firm’s management committee and, effective April 2022, will lead one of the two main governing bodies of the sixth-largest law firm in the U.S. in terms of revenue. Ostolaza will succeed Larry Barden in that role.
“This role is a natural for Yvette, who has proven to be a highly dynamic and effective leader, lawyer, and partner,” Mr. Barden said. “She is the kind of leader who brings out the best in those around her, the kind of lawyer who clients trust with their most important matters, and the kind of partner who is completely dedicated to the success of the firm.”
Ostolaza is involved with USA Film Festival and serves on the boards of the Dallas Theater Center, AT&T Performing Arts Center, and Lionsgate Entertainment, the studio behind films including The Hunger Games.
She’s also served on the board of Girls Inc. and was named a recipient of the Girls Inc. Women of Achievement Award in 2016.
The University Park mother of three and her husband, Peter Dewar, also a lawyer, will celebrate their 30th anniversary in November. The family moved to the Park Cities shortly after her first son, now 25, was born. She added that her sons were Eagle Scouts and her daughter’s a Girl Scout.