St. John’s J.D., 1984
Deputy Secretary for Public Safety
State of New York, Governor’s Office
Within days of taking office, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer
named St. John’s School of Law graduate Michael Balboni as Deputy
Secretary for Public Safety. And, as the senior security and law
enforcement officer in the state, Balboni draws upon his St. John’s
experience every day.
“What initially drew me to the law was that I would speak for
people who could not speak for themselves. And the great thing
about St. John’s was that it was a local school, it had a great bar
pass rate, and it had a vast network of alumni working in
Upon entering the campus community at St. John’s, Michael was
immediately struck by the people around him. He found the
atmosphere to be intimate and fun, but also representative of real
life. The people had a good grounding, were very smart, and had
street savvy, he remembers.
Michael was also immediately impressed by the opportunities in
front of him. It didn’t take him long to get involved with the
Student Bar Association, moot court, and trial advocacy.
“I discovered that I loved running for office. And I loved trial
Although he says his biggest point of pride from his time at St.
John’s was winning the trial court advocacy competition, that
wasn’t necessarily his biggest takeaway.
“St. John’s taught me to write, to express myself, and to manage
my time effectively. It also taught me the ‘meat and potatoes’ of
the practice. I draw on those skills every day. I learned that the
law is a living, breathing institution that needed to be worked in
order to bear fruit.”
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