News Releases
September 6, 2017
Polsinelli Shareholder Gemma Descoteaux Selected Outstanding Director Award Winner by Dallas Women Lawyers Association

Gemma Descoteaux, a shareholder in Polsinelli’s Dallas office, has been named Outstanding Director by the Dallas Women Lawyers Association (DWLA) in recognition of her commitment to advancing women in the legal industry, mentoring young attorneys and connecting women in the community. Each year, the DWLA selects an exceptional group of legal and community trailblazers as honorees for its Annual Awards Reception, which takes place this year on Thursday, Oct. 19.

“Gemma is truly deserving of DWLA’s Outstanding Director award. She has a deep passion for serving and has been a tireless advocate for professional women inside and outside the firm,” said Jon Henderson, managing partner of Polsinelli’s Dallas office and chair of the firm’s national Corporate and Transactional practice. “In addition to having a nationally recognized practice, Gemma still finds time to mentor and influence the growth and development of our younger attorneys, while also counseling other professionals in legal and business-oriented groups like the Dallas Women Lawyers Association and the Association for Corporate Growth. We are proud that she has earned this latest recognition of her outstanding achievements.”

An active member of DWLA, Descoteaux is currently serving in her third year as a member of the board of directors and is the 2017 vice president of mentoring, fostering the talents of young female attorneys in the Dallas-area legal profession. Under her leadership, the DWLA and Dallas Association of Young Lawyers (DAYL) initiated a Mentoring Circle program in 2016, bringing together groups of women to support, develop and counsel each other throughout their career development. Due to the program’s resounding success, it received the Star of Texas Bar Award at the 2017 State Bar of Texas Bar Leaders Recognition Luncheon. Descoteaux has also been involved with the other DWLA board members to successfully advocate for DWLA representation on the Dallas Bar Association’s board of directors.

Additionally, Descoteaux has undertaken a variety of significant leadership roles in the DFW business community: most notably, her current role as president-elect of the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) and as a member of the board of directors. In 2015, DFW ACG selected her to be its chair of Women in ACG DFW, a group that provides an opportunity for ACG members to build up and promote women in the private equity industry, as well as other middle market industries.

Within Polsinelli, Descoteaux is currently serving a three-year term as a member of the firm-wide Compensation Committee, is the liaison shareholder for the firm-wide Women’s Initiative and is co-chair of the Dallas office Recruiting Committee. Through her involvement, Descoteaux continues to contribute to the rapid growth and success of Polsinelli’s Dallas office, which has grown from just a handful of attorneys several years ago to over 50 today.

Descoteaux’s dedication to her work has earned her a high degree of peer recognition for leadership excellence and professional accomplishments. These recognitions include being selected as a Best Lawyer in Dallas by D Magazine, as well as a Best Lawyer in America and a Texas Best Lawyer in the area of Corporate Law. Last year, Descoteaux was also invited to become a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, a prestigious honor bestowed upon the top one-third of one percent of Texas attorneys.

At the forefront of legal developments, Descoteaux serves on the faculty of The University of Texas M&A Conference, providing the region’s preeminent M&A-focused annual continuing legal education.

For more information, contact Carrie Trent at