Hilary Jaffe is an example of that fortunate individual: she is not only an extremely talented attorney; she also loves her work.
As Jaffe says in her own bio, she is passionate about working on complex financial transactions that not only help her clients but also have a positive impact on the community. Jaffe also enjoys solving problems, something that is critical when tackling transactions involving a multitude of private and public stakeholders.
Jaffe’s primary practice involves helping her clients utilize low-income housing tax credits and other public and private sources to build and rehabilitate affordable housing. Her practice is national, ranging from supportive housing in New York City to garden-style workforce housing in Texas.
Linda Bosse, an attorney at MassHousing, a quasi-public agency dedicated to providing financing for housing in Massachusetts, has worked with Jaffe on several multi-layered financing transactions for affordable housing projects and lauded her ability to problem-solve.
As Bosse says, tax credit financings for affordable housing developments are complex. Negotiating the deal document terms is a key to a successful outcome. In this role, Jaffe excels, Bosse said.
"Hilary brings wide-ranging expertise to these deals," Bosse said. "While vigorously advocating for her client, she works collegially with other parties and is consistently able to suggest creative solutions to resolve thorny issues. Working with Hilary across the table, I am confident that whatever challenging issues a deal may present, we will be able to come up with a successful resolution."
Jaffe is a leader within her firm as well. Managing Partner Debbie Kleban notes that “[upon joining the firm, [Hilary] immediately and fully engaged with and invested in our firm, quickly becoming a leader among associates prior to being elevated to our partnership.” Most recently, Jaffe was elected by her fellow partners to serve on the firm’s management committee.
"Hilary is an overall superb attorney, whose involvement and advice is sought out by both clients and colleagues," said Jeffrey Cleven, a partner in the Boston office of law firm Holland & Knight. "Outside the practice of law, Hilary has consistently demonstrated that she is a person concerned about and deeply dedicated to community involvement and betterment."
To that point, Jaffe is a frequent speaker at industry events and has been a leader with the ABA Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law for over 13 years, first as Law Student Liaison to the Governing Committee, then as Young Lawyer Liaison, and currently as a Governing Committee member.
She also devotes herself to pro bono work, most recently assisting a Chicago-area nonprofit with its mortgage refinancing, and volunteers as a legal observer as part of the National Lawyers Guild’s Chicago Legal Observer Program.
That Jaffe has never hesitated to take on volunteer work isn’t surprising; it reflects her desire to make her community a better place.