Jeanine Ball – TRU Newsroom

Jeanine Ball – TRU Newsroom

June 28, 2024 at 7:52 pm  Education, Kamloops, News

Law alum Jeanine Ball at the Highland Ultra in April 2024.

In this alumni spotlight, we feature Jeanine Ball from the class of 2015. She is a partner at Paul and Company LLP in Kamloops, where she practices criminal and family law. In addition, Ball volunteers regularly in the community and finds the time to pursue an active lifestyle, enjoying mountain biking, skiing and running.

What is it about the law or legal practice that inspires you to be part of this profession?

I have always wanted to be an advocate for others. I came to the legal professional a little later in life than some, but it was a very deliberate choice for me. I knew that courtroom advocacy is what I wanted to do. What I love about the law is that it provides a structured way to focus that advocacy. You learn to tailor your arguments and focus to a particular legal test, based on what you are arguing.

Describe what you find rewarding about being a family/criminal litigator.

In my office, we talk about “unicorn moments.” Those are moments that come along once in a while in practice, where you can tangibly see the difference you have made in someone’s life. And those moments make the hard work completely worth it. Those are the moments that keep me going. A large part of my practice is representing youth clients, both in criminal and in family matters. An example is when I see total relief after assisting a youth in a criminal matter, and I keep that young person from serving any jail time, or from having a criminal record. I have had a few unicorn moments in family matters as well where I am able to get a parent re-united with a child they have been prevented from seeing.

I’m sure your years at TRU Law were full of exciting and notable moments. Can you share one of your favourite memories from your time here?

There are many. One of the highlights for me was representing TRU Law at the Wilson Moot in 2016. Looking back, the best part may have actually been all of the time and effort we put into preparing for the actual competition. Writing the factums, and evening and weekend oral argument sessions with our coach, taught me so many skills that I still use in my own practice today. The competition experience in Toronto was the reward for all of that work. I felt reassured watching other teams and competing. Our team – we were only the third class from TRU – was at an equal level with other law schools from across Canada. The icing on the cake was getting to meet the Honourable Justice Rosalie Abella of the Supreme Court of Canada.

How did your time working in a legal clinic influence your practice?

The TRU Community Legal Clinic was not yet operational when I was at TRU. But I did spend a summer semester (after 2L) as a volunteer at the LSLAP Clinic at UBC. Working in a legal clinic taught me the basics of managing a file, such as the importance of keeping memos and careful notes and logging those in a software management system. We only worked on any given file for a short period of time, and it was so important that everything was up-to-date for the next student taking over. I also learned the time it takes from that first client meeting to an actual appearance in front of a court or tribunal.

You are physically active outside of the office. How do you find the time with your busy practice? Any notable events you want to share?

Physical activity and spending time outside is a huge part of maintaining balance for me. I recently got into trail-running. I have had to be flexible about where I can squeeze a run into my day – either before work, at lunch, or in the evening – depending on what my schedule looks like for the day. All winter, I typically ran between 30-70 KMs per week.

I just returned from my first ever ultra-running race in Scotland. It was a three-day, 125 KM race in a remote part of Scotland called the Knoydart Peninsula. The race itself is called the Highland Ultra. This was a huge challenge for me, and I am really proud just to have finished it.

I think it is super important for us, as lawyers, to have other outlets that we enjoy and spend time on.

What was the biggest takeaway from your education at TRU Law?

The relationships and friendships that I developed with classmates, many of whom are not only friends but also colleagues, was a big takeaway. In a community the size of Kamloops, where we have a relatively small Bar, the relationships are huge. I refer clients to former classmates and vice versa. I also love maintaining the social connections with former classmates, especially those who still practise locally.

Is there anything else you want to share with TRU Law alumni?

Your fellow alumni are an excellent resource. Don’t hesitate to turn to other alumni. I find those from TRU are very willing to assist, and they have each other’s backs.

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