Jane Arnold’s planned career in Washington, D.C. never quite came to fruition.
“It was only because I was absolutely wrong about all of the things I was certain about when I was 22, that I ended up where I am now,” she laughed.
Instead, Arnold found she liked living in her hometown when she returned to St. Louis while working for Congressman Richard Gephardt, so she stayed. Now 54, the Washington University graduate jokes that she only went to law school due to a “total lack of imagination”.
She eventually made partner at Bryan Cave before coming to Polsinelli, where she’s managing partner of the St. Louis office and has continued to impress her colleagues with her work in health care, mergers and acquisitions and other areas.
“She has a deep understanding of the health care industry and applies that knowledge in a sophisticated transactional practice, and currently serves as chair of the firm’s Health Care Alignment and Organization practice,” says her firm bio. “Jane’s 25 years of experience allow clients to achieve their business goals in a complex regulatory environment.”
She said she enjoys her field of law because she can help to bring people together though work in getting things done.
“I like the complexity and the fact that both parties to a deal are trying to accomplish getting the deal closed,” she said. “It is a very collaborative kind of law.”
Named a Leader of Distinction by the YWCA in 2020, Arnold has also been recognized as a distinguished alumna by her alma mater.
“I think the sky’s the limit for women in the law these days,” said Arnold. “It has taken a long time for women, particularly transactional lawyers, to be present in any numbers and that’s beginning to change, in part because of the opportunity for more senior women to mentor a larger universe of young women.”
That mentorship is making a big difference in encouraging a new generation of women to pursue careers that they once might not have thought of.
“Over time, the pyramid grows,” she said. “There are still lots of obstacles, but success feels far more available now than it did 25 years ago.”
During her time in practice, Arnold has led BioScrip’s $223 million purchase of CarePoint Partners’ assets. She also represented Thompson Street Capital Partners in the acquisition, disposition and portfolio work of various companies including Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers.
“Sixty-six percent of the hours billed to that matter were billed by women,” she said. “It was a great opportunity to promote women in the profession while doing an empirically big, complicated and exciting deal.”