Hannah Dowd McPhelin
Company: Pepper Hamilton LLP
Years in Commercial RE: 13
Are you a Philadelphia native? If not how did you end up in Philadelphia?
I grew up near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, but I moved to Philadelphia after college to be a legal assistant with a small law firm and fell in love with the city. After two years, I moved to Atlanta for law school, but then I returned to Philadelphia for a number of years before relocating to the Harrisburg area for family reasons. I keep an office in Philly and am there on average one day a week.
Favorite part of CREW, or why did you join?
The people. I love the diversity of the women I get to know and also that we have so much in common – and it is not just lawyers!
What keeps you motivated?
Building my practice and continuing to learn about different parts of the real estate industry that I may not deal with each day.
What do you like to do in your spare time? Hobbies?
I have a six-year-old son who keeps me on my toes – spending time with him and my husband is my favorite pastime. I also like reading and keeping up with TV shows when I can (“Billions,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” anything on HGTV, you get the idea!).
Other boards you’re involved with, include any charitable or philanthropic associations:
For the past eight years, I’ve led a team of Pepper attorneys and other professionals representing John Miller, a Pennsylvania inmate, in his innocence claim with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project (PIP). His case led me to get more involved with PIP. We just had an incredibly joyful summer as we won John’s case, and he was released from prison! If interested you can read more here https://www.pepperlaw.com/news/john-miller-wrongfully-imprisoned-for-21-years-to-be-released-from-prison-2019-07-31/.
If you could learn to do something really well what would it be?
I would love to learn how to write novels or children’s books.
Favorite spot in Philadelphia or surrounding area?
Kelly Drive – we lived in East Falls when we were in Philadelphia and love walks and bike rides in that area. Food wise – two oldies but goodies – Vietnam and Honey’s Sit ‘N Eat.
What does a typical day on the job look like?
No two are ever the same, which I like. Each day is usually some combination of conference calls negotiating leases or agreements and drafting these types of agreements.
Who do you most admire?
Bill and Melinda Gates for the work they are doing through their foundation – I think it is incredible they had the courage to tackle big problems.
What achievement defines you as a person?
I started practicing law as a litigator and realized it was not for me, so I played catch up a bit to become a real estate lawyer. I’m proud of the fact that I found an area of the law that I really love and have been able to build a practice around it.
Are there industries you work with most? What are they?
I work with developers and public and private companies on all of their real estate needs. I have clients who are in the real estate business, but also a number of clients who are in other businesses (retailers, financial institutions, startup companies) and who have real estate needs.
How has CREW influenced your career?
I’ve learned a lot about other parts of the industry from other members and really enjoy the camaraderie.
Click here to connect with Hannah on CREWbiz (members only!)