Angela Zambrano is a co-managing partner of Sidley’s Dallas office, co-leader of Sidley’s Commercial Litigation and Disputes practice area and a firmwide co-chair of SidleyWomen. She has received a variety of awards for her litigation skills and is listed as a leading lawyer for Commercial Litigation by Chambers USA.
What attracted you to the practice of law and what aspect of your practice do you enjoy the most?
I have been working since I was 14 years old, and my favorite part of all of my jobs has been customer service. I like the feeling that I get when I really, truly help someone solve a problem. Although the types of problems that I help solve now are more intellectually challenging than those at the greenhouse where I started or the restaurants where I worked, being a trustworthy person who “adds value” to every problem encountered is the key part of any service profession.
Tell us about a professional goal you are proud of achieving, and what (or who) inspired you to go for it.
I am probably most proud of being selected as outstanding alumni by my law school, SMU Dedman School of Law. Law school changed my stars (and that of my family). I am very grateful for everything that my SMU experience has allowed me to do, and I was really honored they picked me for the award.
What is the most memorable case you led and what made it so memorable?
I have had a lot of wonderful trial experiences. I love going to trial. There is nothing else like it. I had a super “Perry Mason” moment a few years ago when I cross-examined a witness about his criminal record. I enjoyed the take down. However, when I was young associate, I cross-examined a witness using a very different technique—getting him to agree to everything with using an easy manner and smile. Both were really fun. I also like working arm-in-arm with my partners and other colleagues at trial. The talent level at our firm is so high that it’s like being part of a Hollywood production.
Can you share with us a saying or quote that gives you inspiration or helps you stay centered?
I have a few: “The harder that I work, the luckier I get” and “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results.”
There is another one hanging on my office corkboard that I have had since I started practicing law: “Watch your thoughts. They become words. Watch your words. They become deeds. Watch your deeds. They become habits. Watch your habits. They become character. Character is everything.”