Sally DavisView Biography
Why did you decide to start your legal career at Ropes & Gray?
I chose Ropes & Gray because of the lawyers that I met during the interview process. I was struck by their intelligence, their enthusiasm for their work, their warmth and their kindness. To this day, these are all characteristics that I would continue to use to describe my colleagues.
How has Ropes & Gray helped you build a career as a lawyer?
The firm—and the real estate group in particular—have been incredibly supportive and encouraging of my career development since the very beginning. I’m fortunate to not only have found several mentors and teachers, but also true “cheerleaders,” who are genuinely rooting for my ongoing growth and success. I’ve been given several opportunities within the firm and our practice group to take on leadership roles. For example, I recently became the chair of the real estate training committee, and have also been asked to participate in several other groups and firm committees, including the associate liaison committee and the corporate training committee. I’ve presented at group and firm trainings, and internal and external events. Last year I moderated one of several panel discussions the group hosted regarding recent trends in co-working spaces. This was a great opportunity to continue to hone my public speaking skills, and gave me a chance to expand my network into the broader real estate industry.
The recruitment process is a lot like dating—you want to make sure you’ve found the right fit for you!”
Tell us about a memorable matter you’ve worked on.
Last year, I led a team in closing a $275 million joint venture transaction for one of our longstanding clients, the investment manager for a large university endowment.
We were integrally involved in advising on fundamental deal terms and structuring considerations. I worked closely with the client’s in-house counsel to draft and finalize the deal term sheet and structure chart. Given unique tax and structuring sensitivities, the deal wound up requiring the formation of several entities, each of which required its own operating agreement with unique governance, management and investment criteria terms. Ultimately, given the size of the deal and the number of entities involved, I was tasked with leading a team of several real estate associates to draft, negotiate and finalize all of the various deal documents.
This transaction was a great opportunity to develop a close working relationship with a client and their in-house counsel. Additionally, this deal required me to continue to hone my drafting and communication skills, as we navigated the client and their counterparty through complicated structural and governance-related issues. Given the size of our deal time, this transaction also incentivized me to continue to strengthen my leadership skills.
Tell us about a pro bono matter you’ve worked on.
I represented the Boston Ballet in connection with their negotiation of a lease for new school space in Newton, Massachusetts.
Not only was it a great opportunity to work on a leasing matter from start to finish, it was also incredibly rewarding to work with such an amazing organization that works tirelessly to support students and dancers and to inspire the community through a celebration of the arts.
Given my particular interest in music and the arts, I’ve been so pleased that the firm has offered me multiple opportunities to work specifically with pro bono clients in this sector, including the Boston Ballet and other nonprofit arts organizations based in Massachusetts and New York.
This transaction was a great opportunity to develop a close working relationship with a client and their in-house counsel.”
How would you describe the firm’s culture?
I would describe the firm’s culture as engaged and engaging, reliable, supportive, encouraging and motivating.
What tips would you offer to a potential applicant?
I would encourage a potential applicant to meet as many lawyers at Ropes & Gray as possible. Take the firm up on its offer to return following your interview to meet more people and get a sense of the place and the people. The recruitment process is a lot like dating—you want to make sure you’ve found the right fit for you!