Partner and real estate practice leader, Snell & Wilmer
Years in the industry: 30
Jody Pokorski has been behind some of the biggest deals in the Valley. She represented Arizona State University in the State Farm headquarters in Tempe deal that has become the largest office development in the state. A few years ago, her team handled the sale-lease for the University of Phoenix, which became the largest transaction of the year that wasn’t handled by the Arizona State Land Department. Over the last 30 years, she has practiced in the areas of real estate transactions, finance and regulatory matters. Her career accomplishments also include representing a $220M state/federal highway extension and widening project that utilized a public-private partnership structure and the redevelopment of a 4,000-acre former Air Force base into a mixed-use community. One of Pokorski’s colleagues said many of the biggest projects in the Valley wouldn’t be here if not for her.
What is the hardest professional or personal challenge you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?
As a young lawyer, negotiating deals against more senior lawyers was intimidating, but I tried to observe how others approached the process and learn something from each experience.
What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishment?
The ability to look out the window and see so many projects that I have been a part of bringing to fruition.
What is your most memorable deal or project and why?
I have worked on many great projects, but it has been gratifying being a part of several complex deals for ASU, where I am a proud alumni and adjunct professor.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love finding win-win solutions on challenging deals so that both parties walk away happy.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up and how did that aspiration affect your career?
My undergraduate degree was in psychology, and I often think back to lessons learned in my social and behavioral psych classes.
What is one little-known fact about you?
My first job was at Harkins Theatres; I started working concessions and wound up as a manager.