Originally from Jaffna, Sri Lanka, Kirushanthy "Shanthy" Balachanthiran's family immigrated to Florida in the early 1980's to a small Southwest Florida town. She grew up in Fort Myers, where she graduated from Fort Myers High School as the International Baccalaureate Valedictorian with a 5.6 GPA, the highest in the Lee County school district that year. Possessing a keen interest in becoming an attorney after attending a rigorous, pre-law studies program at Yale University while still in high school, Shanthy commenced undergraduate studies at Penn State as a second semester junior. Shanthy interned at the Attorney General's Office while completing her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English within two years. She graduated summa cum laude with honors and highest distinction and ranked first in the English Department, and was selected as one of six Student Marshals at her college graduation for her service to the Penn State community. Thereafter, Shanthy attended Harvard University where she completed her Master's Degree with an international field work component and thereafter attended King Hall School of Law at the University of California, Davis. During her second and third years of law school, Shanthy continued to expand her legal education to encompass international law studies in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand through exchange programs with the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, University of Tulsa College of Law, Monash University and the University of Canterbury.
Shanthy was awarded the prestigious Dan Bradley Fellowship during her third and final year of law school, and she completed her fellowship in public service law at the largest disability rights firm in North America. Collaborating professionally with the leading pioneers of disability rights in America, Shanthy helped craft civil rights policies which have positively impacted the lives of so many disabled Americans. What is more, having worked for companies and law firms in the fields of corporate tax, civil and commercial litigation, and real estate, Shanthy's professional experience has helped prepare her to serve as a knowledgeable, diligent attorney. Not only is she a member of the Florida and California Bar Associations, Shanthy also holds three other professional licenses. She is an active member of the American Bar Association and the Lee County Bar Association. Shanthy is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida, as well as the United States Tax Court. And since 2012, Shanthy has taught real estate law courses at various post-secondary educational institutions in Tampa and St Petersburg, Florida.
In addition to her devotion to the practice of law, Shanthy is passionate about engaging in work that improves the lives of others who are less fortunate. While in law school, Shanthy helped co-found and serve as a board member of an international charitable organization that coordinated large donations of refurbished educational and technological supplies to children's homes and orphanages in 7 different Southeast Asian and Central American countries, serving over 400+ youth in the process. As a lifelong learner, Shanthy deeply understands the value of education, and delved further into the pursuit of providing greater educational access, opportunities and supplies to underserved youth from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Shanthy spent five years from 2013-2017 developing and engineering ground breaking, holistic academic curricula and programming to dramatically improve the educational experiences and opportunities for over 1300 inner city, at-risk, bottom quartile youth from some of Tampa's poorest communities. Shanthy's work has had a tremendous impact on youth and has been recognized by multiple Florida school districts and endorsed by the YMCA.
Shanthy's work experience and professional pedigree is wide ranging in having served as a business and legal consultant for non-profits, large, mid-size and small scale corporations, as well as government entities. In addition to her solid educational background, professional pedigree, and philanthropic efforts, Shanthy's unyielding work ethic speaks volumes as to her dedication and commitment to her clients and community.