Sarah Balderas feels blessed and grateful to have a fulfilling job that she loves going to every day — a job she essentially created for herself.
Sarah, who earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Newman University, passed the bar exam in 2018 after receiving her Juris Doctorate from the Washburn University School of Law.
Sarah said she was “one of the lucky ones to get my dream job right out of law school.”
That job was at a law firm in Wichita where her cousin, Angela Balderas, practiced immigration law. The two worked there together until last fall when they decided to take a big leap of faith.
The start of Balderas Legal Group LLC
Angie’s father passed away in 2019, which made 2020 an especially challenging year for her. He was so happy to see that Angie and Sarah were working side-by-side in the field of immigration law. After he passed, the two re-evaluated their careers and decided they wanted to serve clients directly rather than through a big firm — and they knew it was something that Angie’s father would have been proud of.
So, in October 2020, Angie and Sarah opened the doors of Balderas Legal Group LLC, an immigration law firm located in Wichita.
“Both of our dads are from Mexico, so we’re products of immigration and have seen it firsthand,” Sarah said. “We just felt like it was necessary to take that step and open up our own place and run it the way we want it run.”
Year one, done
The first year of owning Balderas Legal Group — which also includes an of counsel attorney and three assistants — went by in a flash.
“It’s been a whirlwind, honestly,” Sarah said.
One of the legal assistants is Sarah’s and Angie’s cousin, so the firm is very family-oriented. Sarah feels that she and Angie “basically complete each other.” While Sarah is hands-on and focuses on office management, Angie is more behind the scenes and the brains of the operation.
And while lots of people have said that it’s a bad idea to work with family, Sarah has found that not the case for her.
“At the end of the day, I would want no one other than my family working with me,” she said. “There’s just so much loyalty. At the end of the day, we’re still cousins and we love each other.”
Set up for success
Sarah feels that her experience at Newman, where she played softball and was president of the Hispanic American Leadership Organization, set her up for a prosperous career.
“I loved Newman,” she said. “I would not be where I am today without going to Newman. I credit it to all of my success, honestly.”
Ultimately, Sarah’s goal every day is to help the clients she serves. Doing so is what makes her feel successful.
“There was one point during this past year when I sat at my desk and looked around my office and thought, ‘I love my job,’” she said. “As long as our clients are happy, that’s all we care about. As long as they’re getting status or what they want out of their case, that’s really all that matters.”
Earn an English degree
Study fiction and non-fiction, composition, creative writing, and the English language itself—for any career and as valuable in and of themselves.