Antoinette Balta is Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Veterans Legal Institute® (VLI), a
pro bono law firm that lifts up US military Veterans in crisis. She oversees and has responsibility
for the overall management of the firm including business development, outreach, public relations, marketing, strategic planning and a light legal caseload. She comes to VLI with a long-
held passion to serve homeless and at-risk veterans and service members and has dedicated her career to that end.
Noticing an influx of service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan seeking shelter at a
local National Guard armory, Ms. Balta discovered that many issues that contributed to these
veterans’ chronic homelessness were legal in nature and required the assistance of an attorney.
So moved by the fact that the men and women who had served the country abroad were now
struggling, she committed herself to the cause of removing “chronic” from “homelessness” and
empowering veterans into self-sufficiency. This led her to be instrumental in the co-development of a veteran based project at a local legal aid, with over 700 veterans receiving legal assistance during her three year tenure. Since co-founding the Veterans Legal Institute in 2014, over 6,000 local low income veterans have benefitted from free legal services.
Ms. Balta served in the California State Guard for over 6 years, first as a reserve JAG officer and
then as a Marketing Officer holding the rank of Major, committed to assisting with the rebranding of the California Military Department. She is accredited by the Department of
Veterans Affairs and regularly lectures on legal topics affecting veterans, where she is known for
providing innovative solutions aimed at veteran empowerment and self-sufficiency. In the past,
Ms. Balta was a law lecturer at UCI School of Law for its Veterans Law Clinic.
Ms. Balta is a graduate of the 2018 Presidential Leadership Scholars Class, a prestigious program that serves as a catalyst for a diverse network of leaders brought together to collaborate and make a difference in the world as they learn about leadership through the lens of the presidential experiences of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson. During her tenure in this program, she focused on the improvement and further development of mobile legal clinics for low income veterans, a project that is shared freely throughout the nation to promote additional services for veterans in need.
Ms. Balta is a two term Director at Large with the Orange County Bar Association, a member of
the Outreach and Pro Bono Committees and a member of the Orange County Women’s Lawyers Association. She is also a Board Advisor for the National Association of Veteran-Serving
Organizations and Integrated Recovery Foundation, a group dedicated to providing housing and mental health service to women survivors of military sexual assault. Ms. Balta is a member of the OC Veterans and Military Families Collaborative, Chair of its Legal/ Re-Entry Working
Group, and for a long period of time served as Vice Chair of its Steering Committee.
Ms. Balta holds a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and
Management from Chapman University School of Business as well as a Juris Doctor with a
special certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution and an LLM emphasized in Business and
Economics from Chapman University Fowler School of Law.