Jessica Taylor O’Mary

Jessica Taylor O’Mary, 36, loves hard work — as long as it comes with indoor plumbing. As a partner in the New York hedge funds/asset management practice of law firm Ropes & Gray, O’Mary relishes challenging tasks like creating fund structures for illiquid capital pools, but she never planned to become a corporate lawyer. After growing up mostly in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, where her father worked in the oil industry, O’Mary studied environmental sciences and public policy at Harvard University. She decided to specialize in tropical forest ecology and work in the field, but one research trip to the Venezuelan rain forest changed her mind. O’Mary joined an Internet start-up during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, then headed to Boston College for law school, where she chose to study corporate rather than environmental law — a decision that led her to Ropes & Gray in 2003. Since making partner at 34, O’Mary has taken the lead on advising many of the firm’s gold-plated roster of hedge funds and private equity managers.