Jonathan is part lawyer and part music composer. Both very different, but complementary disciplines. His colleagues often say he is tenacious and brings an incredibly diverse set of talents and unique perspective to every opportunity.
But to Jonathan his commitment to Balch is simple. It’s the people and the firm’s commitment to mentoring and training that make him proud to be a part of the team. In Jonathan’s first few years at Balch he has had the opportunity to help build a new practice area for the firm. And he is not stopping there.
EducationVanderbilt University Law School, J.D., 2014
Emory University, B.A., 2009
Balch invests in its people. This is the kind of place that will help be me the lawyer I want to be – even if it means going to into untested waters..
MY COLLEAGUESI admire the integrity of my colleagues, especially my mentors. When the people you work with have strong moral compasses, everything else falls into place.
BALCH MEMORYAs a first-year associate, I took testimony from multiple witnesses and did the closing arguments in a multi-day arbitration, which is an unusual amount of responsibility for someone just starting out. That experience repeated multiple times in my first few years of practice. That says a lot about the way the firm mentors and supports its lawyers.
Without a doubt, the people at Balch are the primary driver for me. We hang out outside of work. Our families get together, and our kids are friends.
My practice is really a hybrid – consumer finance and creditors’ rights. Both areas revolve around an interwoven set of rules and, particularly in the consumer finance realm, an ever-moving set. But clients need straight-forward answers and actionable strategies to solve their problems. Trying to state the complex simply is a challenge I truly enjoy. For me, this ties a bit to conducting and composing. There is complexity to the assignment that hopefully results in an elegant solution.
Most Balch partners started as summer associates, so that tells you a lot about the culture of our firm. My mentors have helped define my career path and because of that, I make a point of keeping an open door with summer associates.
ADVICE For UPCOMING ATTORNEYSDon’t worry about getting projects done; worry about getting them done right. That relates to everything, from time management, to research, and to providing our clients with candid advice.
Wyatt Earp said, “Take your time in a hurry." I used to say "Relaxed is successful. Tense makes mistakes,” to my music and public speaking students. I say it to myself all the time.
MY COMPOSER SIDE
During my first two years working at Balch, I competed in the Alabama Symphony Orchestra’s nationwide competition for new music compositions. My work was selected two years in a row and hearing it played by the ASO was truly a life experience. I now serve on the ASO’s Board of Directors and helped found the Junior Patrons for the ASO. Balch has enabled my participation in the ASO and the community every step of the way.
BOOK CURRENTLY ON MY NIGHTSTAND
I’m on a Southern literary kick. I just finished "Gone with the Wind" from start to finish – it’s no easy task.
Travel Bucket List
China is definitely on my bucket list.
I’m a dual citizen of the USA and Belgium. Growing up, we would go to Belgium often to see family, and I plan to go over with my children (both duel citizens) once he’s a little older to meet all my aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Basically, anything involving my kids.
MY Version of Self-Care
Three things: exercising, reading the newspaper at a leisurely pace, and accomplishing something around the house. I’m not a “sit still” kind of guy.
I’ve gotten Clark Kent before. I think it's the glasses.
Most un-lawyerly thing I’ve ever done
I signed my mortgage without reading it.