Women Worth Watching 2015

Elizabeth Cooper

Blazing New Trails Is Just Business as Usual for JLL’s International Director


web JLL_CooperElizabeth Cooper began her career as a commercial real estate attorney at Covington & Burling LLP, where she negotiated client leases and the firm’s office transactions. She then joined The Staubach Company, quickly becoming the only female revenue-producing member of its northeast management committee and a top producer. When Staubach merged with JLL in 2008, Elizabeth took on a leadership role with her new company.

Today, Elizabeth leads JLL’s brokerage practice, which represents some of the world’s top law firms. She is consistently ranked as a top producer—achieving a top-ten ranking several times. As a thought leader and trusted advisor, she has negotiated commercial leases that represent more than 50 million square feet of space; quadrupled the size of the law firm group; and closed transactions with a total lease value of more than $5.7 billion.

“The most important quality any leader can have is the ability to inspire others to be their best,” says Elizabeth.

Calling on her more than 26 years of professional experience, Elizabeth mentors other women. She has created, participates in, or leads JLL programs that establish leadership paths for women brokerage professionals, including the firm’s Women’s Business Network, Diversity & Inclusion Council, Leadership Council & Advisory Board, Brokerage Leadership Council, and mentor protégé program. Elizabeth also has participated in The Mid-Atlantic Women’s Business Network’s “Walk in My Shoes” program, and is a graduate of Leading Women Executives.

“…inspire others to be their best.”

Succeeding in an industry in which women are the exception rather than the rule is nothing new for this mother of four. She played on the boys’ varsity tennis team in high school and was a member of one of the first co-ed classes at Amherst College. Elizabeth’s ability to understand the law, law firm real estate strategies, and effective negotiating strategy has led to significant value creation for her clients, her colleagues, and her community.


The most important quality a woman leader should have is…

… the ability to inspire others to be their best.

The career advice I’d give my former self:

Invest in your network: take the time to build as many relationships as you can, then maintain and nourish them over time.

Words I live by:

Actions speak louder than words.

The one thing I’d do differently in my career, knowing what I know now, is…

…I would create my own Board of Directors that I could go to for advice throughout the chapters of my career.

When I really need to focus on a project, I…

…break it down and analyze it from all angles. I map out the issue in an outline format; then take time to think about it from different perspectives. I’ll sleep on it, then revisit it and repeat the process until I feel confident I have it right.

My biggest career leap (and what I learned from it) was…

…when I left the practice of law to for real estate brokerage, and learned that one needs to take risks, step outside comfort zones and continually reinvent.

Being a woman in my profession has been…

…a wonderful and challenging opportunity to excel in a male-dominated profession. I’ve taken my experiences to serve as a mentor, role model and coach for others who have and are entering the field in greater numbers than when I began.

I’ve learned that failure is…

…a catalyst to improve and persevere.

I maintain a healthy personal life by…

…giving myself the attention I need. This is everything from exercise and sleep to getting a massage, or good hug…and drinking gallons of water rather than alcohol or caffeine!

I knew my present career was what I wanted to do when…

…I realized that everyone working with me smiled, was genuinely having fun and there was a tremendous value placed on teamwork. I come from a sports background where great value is based on teamwork. In commercial real estate, teamwork is paramount to best serve our clients.