In celebration of Women’s History Month, Becker showcases the inspiration, philosophies, and expertise of the women attorneys and lobbyists who help elevate our firm and client service.
Jennifer Drake is a highly accomplished real estate attorney and a Vice Chair of Becker’s Public, Private Partnerships (P3) practice group. Her practice focuses on commercial transactions for a variety of planned project developments, including contract and commercial/ground lease negotiation; mortgage and asset based financing for both financial institutions and borrowers; and preparation of joint venture agreements for real estate transactions, as well as real estate workouts and liquidation of real estate owned (REO) properties for financial institutions.
What woman inspires you and why?
My Mother. Although she was not highly educated, she was a woman ahead of her time. She simultaneously worked full time and raised two daughters – and was very successful at both. She gave me the values, confidence, and tools, through both words and deeds, to be a successful woman myself. There are things she thought me that I implement in my life every day. Through her example, she also gave me skills to be a good mother. I could not have achieved what I have in my life without her wonderful, loving guidance.
If you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I would be fascinated to hear how she had the guts and grit to achieve what she did as a law student, lawyer, mother, and Supreme Court Justice.
What advice (professional or personal) would you give your younger self?
Play the political game a bit more.
What led you to the practice of law and/or to your specific area of law?
I became a lawyer because, as my Mom used to say, “I could argue with a wall and win”. I decided to go into real estate specifically because I liked that I could actually see the end results of my work, i.e. see the condo towers I drafted documents for; see the communities I drafted the governing documents for; see the factories and buildings built with the bond deals I have worked on; see the student housing facilities created by the P3, etc.
What has living through a global pandemic taught you?
Although I truly miss the professional interaction, I found that I can successfully practice at my best whether I work at home or in the office. It has also highlighted just how fortunate my family and I are to be able to continue life without missing a beat, when so many others have suffered so horribly. Unfortunately, it has highlighted the gross inequities that exist in this very wealthy country and shows how we as a united people need to address these inequities now.
To learn more about Jennifer, please click here.