A Real Estate and Land Use Law Trail Guide
A California native, Day Pitney Partner Gemma Cashman spent a lot of her childhood outdoors fostering a lifelong passion for the environment. As a real estate and land use law attorney, she incorporates her passion in her work when addressing issues like sustainability and a development's impact on its surroundings.
"I'm like a trail guide for clients," Gemma says. "I'm pointing out pitfalls along the way and using my knowledge to explain the best path forward for the transaction so clients can achieve their goals."
Gemma originally wanted to go into medicine, but an organic chemistry class at Boston College ended that dream, she remembers with a laugh. Once she learned more about being a lawyer, though, the law seemed like a good fit for her strengths: critical reading and writing.
Gemma tackled her legal studies the same way she became a member of BC's Division 1 girls' softball team, she says. "I'm not naturally athletic, but I'm a very hard worker. My success came with my dedication and practice," which included her father practicing softball with her every day.
An only child, Gemma says her parents are the most influential people in her life. Professionally, Gemma credits three mentors at Day Pitney—partners William Pezzoni, Jared Ross and Paul Belval—for helping her navigate the firm and teaching her to be a better lawyer. "Half your job as a lawyer is to learn by being thrown into the fire, and the other half is learning from exceptional mentors," she explains.
Since joining Day Pitney, Gemma has worked on a range of real estate and land use matters for developers and financial institutions, as well as residential and nonprofit clients. She is proud to be a part of the team working on an offshore wind transmission connector project for Mayflower Wind. When complete, the project will enable energy to be delivered from an offshore wind generation resource, with the potential to power more than one million homes and businesses. "This project is on the forefront of America's energy industry," Gemma says. "It will be a huge contribution to decarbonizing the electrical grid."
Mayflower Wind Associate General Counsel Kate Turner says Gemma is a true trail guide who adeptly navigates even the most difficult paths, such as preparing carefully tailored leases that reflect the complexity and unique needs of the project, with a particular emphasis on title, environmental and liability risk protections. "Gemma's legal drafting skills are outstanding, and she has never missed a deadline. She responds to questions clearly and completely and is proactive in alerting us to legal developments that may impact our strategic positions," Kate adds.
Being a great trail leader involves having a thorough understanding of a client's interests. Mary Cerio of 42 North Capital says Gemma remains cognizant of her company's goals from both legal and business perspectives and gets "laser-focused" on meeting those—even in the face of adversity. "I have complete confidence and trust in her capabilities and her ability to get a transaction across the finish line without compromising the structure or integrity of the deal," Mary says.
Gemma, her husband, their two kids (ages 3 and 1), and their dog live an hour outside Boston. Her family keeps her busy, but she enjoys trying new recipes. During the pandemic, she channeled her inner Julia Child and focused on French cooking and baking bread.
REAL ESTATE AND LAND USE
Suffolk University Law School, J.D., cum laude
Boston College, B.A