Sylvia Ortiz was born and raised in Houston, Texas. As a first generation Mexican-American, she was the first to attend college in her family. She obtained a Bachelors of Arts in Religious Studies and Bachelors of Science in Radio-Television-Film at The University of Texas at Austin with a full undergraduate scholarship from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. After college, she entered the legal field as a paralegal, and volunteered teaching English to adult Latinos in Los Angeles. She then went on to earn a Juris Doctorate from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, California. She was a member and co-vice president of the Latino Law Students Association (LLSA) while attending Southwestern Law School, and she also received a CALI Award in a Risk at Youth seminar course.
Sylvia has over 10 years in experience in the legal field, working as a senior paralegal in civil litigation. She entered the field of immigration law in 2019 to fulfill a lifelong dream of contributing to helping immigrants gain their American dream. Her desire stems from seeing the hardships her parents encountered in becoming citizens, and wanting to help people in similar situations.