227. Attorney-Podcaster on a Mission
Joseph J. Balliro, Jr.
Joseph J. Balliro, Jr., is a 61-year-old trial attorney who for the past 29 years has practiced criminal defense and civil law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and nationwide. He’s the son of the dean of the defense bar, Joseph J. Balliro, Sr., who has practiced criminal defense for over 65 years. As he approached his third decade as a criminal defense attorney, Joseph wanted to find a way to help people steer clear of that one wrong turn that could land them in jail. He created the podcast Killer Legal Reality Radio, in which he features both the insights of top attorneys and offenders who have made life changes, even if they’re incarcerated.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“In my years of working with criminal defendants, their families and friends I’ve heard over and over again questions like ‘How did this happen?’ or ‘Why does my son (or daughter or husband or father) continue to get into trouble?’ I said to myself, there ought to be some means of sending the message that there are ideals and attitudes people have adopted that drive the successes in their lives. I wanted to present, by comparative example, not only the ideals and attitudes adopted by successful people but also the bad choices made by people who ultimately ended up in jail.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“I think I knew I was hard-wired for business and hard-wired for the law very early in life. As a child I recall coming up with ideas to make things to sell to my friends, and sometimes getting in trouble,” he said. At the same time, his father, a prominent attorney, was pursuing high-profile cases. “I think my father was my greatest influence. I grew up when he was representing Bill Baird, who some call ‘the father of abortion,’ who ultimately went to the U.S. Supreme Court in two seminal cases regarding contraceptive and women’s rights. I can remember routinely being beaten up by other children who had been influenced by their parents’ opinions about abortion. I think that got me excited with the idea that there’s got to be somebody that stands up and becomes a stalwart against that type of extremism.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“Life is not always a friendly journey. You are going to hit brick walls and sometimes people are going to build them while you’re standing still or moving. You must persevere. It doesn’t matter what the difficulties are, or how large they loom over you or how crushing they appear to you. There’s a way through it, and the way through it is perseverance.”
Steps to Success from Joseph J. Balliro, Jr.
1. Have the courage to stand up for your beliefs.
2. Life is not just about making a dollar; it’s about improving people’s lives.
3. Understand that complacency is the enemy of creativity and productivity.
4. Spend time each day reminding yourself of your goals and the promises you made to yourself for a better life.
On His Bookshelf
Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters, by Lida Sideris
Connecting With Joseph J. Balliro, Jr.
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