Jansen Balisi Alumni Spotlight

Jansen Balisi ’14 is a Staff Attorney for the Georgia Secretary of State in Macon, GA.  If you would like to speak with Jansen, please contact her at jbalisi@sos.ga.gov. To view more alumni spotlight stories, click here.

What is your favorite Coastal memory? Choosing a favorite Coastal memory is difficult for me. When I envision a Coastal memory, I see a collage of people who inspired me and events that shaped me to be the person I am today. I have so many wonderful memories with friends and faculty from the Moot Court Honor Board, Women Law Students’ Association, Student Ambassadors, Republican Legal Society, the Immigrant and Human Rights Clinic, and projects with the Deans’ Suite.

 

If I could share a memory with anyone about FCSL, without a second thought or hesitation, it would be the NYU Immigration Law Moot Court Competition from February 2013 in New York, NY. I am going to give a shout out to a fellow FCSL alumna and close friend, Loreyn Raab. She stood beside me through every moment leading up to the competition no matter how difficult, embarrassing, wonderful and overwhelming something was.

My moot court family would appreciate this: There are three reasons why I pick this memory. First, this journey reflects how amazing and successful the FCSL Moot Court Honor Board Program is – you never know how great you can become if you do not challenge yourself and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Second, I gained a lot of confidence in myself. Third, my co-counsel and I won the competition after giving our oral arguments in front of the Honorable Guido Calabresi (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit), Honorable Ilana Rovner (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit), and Honorable Robert Katzmann – U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The entire process leading up to the competition involved so much growth as a person that I always think back to this memory when someone compliments on the skills I use in my professional work. I have an album at home with pictures and souvenirs from this memory.

What is your proudest professional moment? Earning the respect and trust of those whom I work with for the GA Secretary of State. Respect and trust go a long way as a professional.
What is on your bookshelf? In my office, I have books of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, legal dictionaries, white flowers, decorative boxes, moot court memories, and pictures of my family.
What advice do you have for someone considering law school? Make sure you want a law degree for reasons that you will continue to value throughout your life. Do not study law because you want to be financially wealthy or to have the title as an attorney beside your name. Go to law school because you want to help people – this is the drive within you that will keep you going. There are so many people who do not understand the law, and for some, they are so afraid or confused by it that they are hesitant to seek legal help. Be the person that transforms their fear/doubts of the justice system to trust and respect of our legal profession. Be the person you would want to talk to if you needed legal advice.

 

Also, law school will be the most significant investment you make. Law school demands a lot of time, physical and mental energy, and personal growth. With that, law school will also be one of the most exciting times of your life. With all of the excitement and changes, do not forget who you are as a person. Do not be or feel pressured to change your personality, religious/political views, or other unique features of yourself. Be respectful of others, but stand your ground when necessary. What makes you unique as a person will contribute to the great attorney you will become.

Who did you call when you found out you passed the bar? I called my parents, fiancé, and bar coach (Professor Giannini) who were amazing supporters during my bar preparation and kept me sane while I waited three agonizing months for my bar results.