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MU Extension program director honored with justice award


Linda Geist
University of Missouri Extension
Phone: 573-882-9185

Photo available for this release:

Nina Balsam, St. Louis County program director.

Credit: Photo by Karen Elshout/Missouri Lawyers Weekly

Published: Monday, April 29, 2013

ST. LOUIS, Mo.– Nina Balsam, St. Louis County program director for University of Missouri Extension, received the Citizenship Award April 25 at Missouri Lawyers Weekly’s 15th annual Women’s Justice Awards ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown St. Louis.

Balsam was among 36 women from across the state honored at the event. The Citizenship Award is awarded to women, both lawyers and nonlawyers, who have made significant contributions to improving the quality of justice in the community-at-large.

Balsam has been a longtime advocate for domestic violence victims and at the forefront of new legislation and programs that better protect victims of domestic violence and more effectively address offenders. As an adjunct professor at Washington University School of Law, she encourages future innovators to improve the justice system.

She is a consultant on domestic violence, restorative justice and nonprofit management and law for the court system and nonprofit agencies.

Balsam assisted the Lincoln County Circuit Court in planning the establishment of a domestic violence court, where she intends to implement victim impact panels.

She previously worked for Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, where she coauthored the Missouri Adult Abuse Law, choreographed efforts to support its passage and argued as amicus curiae for its constitutionality.

As a VISTA attorney, she organized the effort to start the first domestic violence shelter in St. Louis and founded Lasting Solutions, a holistic program to respond to legal and other needs of domestic violence victims.

While serving as director of Restorative Justice at the Center for Women in Transition, she implemented the Missouri Restorative Justice Initiative. She was the first legal director of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Balsam is coauthor of several law review articles, including “Examining the Use of Restorative Justice in Domestic Violence Cases.”

She earned her Juris Doctor from Washington University School of Law and holds a master’s degree in human service agency management from Lindenwood University.

Other Women’s Justice awardees this year included Missouri Supreme Court Judge Laura Denvir Stith, who was named Woman of the Year.