National Hispanic Heritage Month honors the cultures and contributions of the Hispanic community, commending heritage rooted in all Latin American countries. In recognition of this cultural celebration, BELLA shines a light on some of the wavemakers, industry leaders, and exceptional members of the Hispanic community, such as Olga Vieira.
Based in Miami, Florida, Olga is an award-winning, leading attorney at one of the top law firms in the country, Greenspoon Marder LLP. Winning the South Florida Legal Guide’s “Top Lawyers” award for 2020, Olga is not only at the top of her game in the legal world, but also a speaker, moderator, author, and activist, demonstrating outstanding legal advocacy as a pro bono attorney for Lawyers for Children America. BELLA spoke with Olga about how she got to where she is today, how she’s navigating the pandemic, and how she celebrates her Latin roots…
As a partner in the Litigation practice group at Greenspoon Marder LLP, one of the biggest law firms in the U.S., share with us your journey into law and your inspiration for pursuing this career path.
I chose a career in law because I saw it as a way to advocate for those who cannot speak up for themselves. I was inspired by my father who worked as a lawyer, but also dedicated time to those less fortunate and to improving his community. I strive to do the same. I put in a lot of hours and work hard, but also set aside time for pro bono work as an attorney ad litem for children in dependency court.
How has your industry changed throughout the pandemic and how have you personally pivoted, to remain successful and thriving despite the global setbacks?
Litigation came to a halt at the beginning of the pandemic. Professionally, I shifted my focus a bit from litigation to transactions and businesses emerging in the pandemic. I paired up with transactional attorneys at the firm to assist clients pivoting their own businesses in response to the pandemic. Personally, I had to assist three school age children with online classes. To make it work, we created a makeshift office in the house with five desks, and I would manage their online schedules while I worked. Once the school day was over, I had time in the office alone and then I would log back on after the kids’ bedtimes to finish up the day.
As a woman in business, especially at such a respectable and high-profile law firm, what advice would you give to other women pursuing a similar path? Any memorable life lessons you have learned along the way?
I always tell young associates not to be afraid to lose or fail. The best thing I did early on in my career was to ask for challenging work. I never turned down an opportunity to test my abilities. When given those opportunities, I spent time preparing in order to succeed. More often than not, regardless of the outcome – win or lose – just having the experience is an invaluable step forward in your career.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we are highlighting exceptional individuals in the Latin community, such as yourself. How do you celebrate or keep your Hispanic roots alive in your daily life?
I emphasize Spanish-speaking with the kids. But my favorite way to celebrate my roots is to dance. We listen to Latin rock, salsa and merengue and often end up in family dance parties after dinner.
At BELLA, our tagline is “Life Is Beautiful.” What do you think makes life beautiful?
Appreciating your own unique life and circumstances makes life beautiful. If you appreciate all you have instead of comparing yourself to others, your life will always be beautiful.
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