Prominent environmental, natural resources and energy attorney Michelle De Blasi is celebrating her firm’s third anniversary with an added accolade – 2023 Mentor of the Year, Arizona State University Program on Law & Sustainability Mentorship Initiative.
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The Law Office of Michelle De Blasi was founded on May 1, 2020. De Blasi focuses on business strategy by helping clients in a broad array of industries complete their projects from start to finish, overseeing all aspects of permitting, while assessing business risks and hitting milestones on time and on budget.
De Blasi possesses decades of experience assisting clients obtain successful results with their environmental, natural resource and energy projects. She has led numerous large-scale, complex environmental remediation enforcement and brownfield cases, and has completed environmental compliance, due diligence and permitting for some of the largest industrial facilities under development in the Valley.
As a mentor to the next generation of women attorneys, De Blasi advises individuals to find their purpose and passion in the practice of law. Recognizing a need for law students to receive mentoring, De Blasi worked with Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law to found the Mentorship Initiative for Sustainability Law (MISL), which links experienced attorneys with law students studying within the Program on Law and Sustainability.
Each year the students nominate a mentor who goes above and beyond to receive the Mentor of the Year award.
“The MISL program is just one of the many incredible attributes of the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Sustainability Law program that sets it apart,” De Blasi said. “Throughout my career, I’ve been a champion of women, whether through mentorship or being mentored. I am very excited to be at the helm of a woman-owned business, which is uncommon in my industry. It is also for this reason that I established The Women’s Professional Power Scholarship at ASU’s law school.
“The scholarship provides need-based educational scholarship funds to women law students who will be entering the legal field, as well as professional guidance related to skills that are essential to a successful law practice,” De Blasi said.
Now in its eighth year, MISL creates opportunities for lawyers to provide one-on-one professional guidance and to share practical knowledge and skills with second- and third-year law students to aid them in the critical transition from law student to legal practitioner. De Blasi assists the MISL program to pair experienced attorney-mentors with ASU law student mentees in the fall semester of each academic year.
“Michelle is critical to the MISL program’s annual success,” said Professor Troy Rule, the Joseph Feller Memorial Chair in Law and Sustainability and Faculty Director of the Law and Sustainability Program at ASU Law. “We’re incredibly grateful to Michelle for playing such an integral role in this valuable initiative.”
When she launched her firm in 2020, De Blasi already had a successful practice built on her decades of experience and relationships assisting clients obtain successful results with their environmental, natural resource and energy projects. She brought many years of government and “Big Law” experience to her own firm to provide more effective client service at a lower cost.
“Over the past decade the legal market has been changing, with even large companies focusuing more on specific areas of expertise for their legal counsel instead of the large law firm billable hour model. The world is becoming more virtual, including law,” De Blasi said. “I’m very grateful to be able to provide more efficient and focused legal services and strategic partnerships for my clients who are undertaking many of the world’s issues, while still being able to partner with many law firms of all sizes who do not have counsel with my areas of expertise.”
De Blasi advises clients on state and federal environmental regulatory levels. Clients consistently rely on her knowledge of hazardous waste, air quality, water quality, environmental health and safety, real property due diligence, utility regulation, natural resource damage issues, asbestos and underground storage tank regulation.
Throughout her many years of experience on the energy side of her practice, De Blasi has advised clients on due diligence, permitting, siting and contractual agreements for energy generation projects, both traditional and alternative energy, as well as carbon emissions tracking and reporting. With the vast increase in implementation of renewable energy across all industries, this skillset has proved to be invaluable to assist her numerous clients with their projects, whether they are utilizing the renewable energy or generating it.
De Blasi is active in industry organizations and serves as the Co-Chair of the Federal Affairs Committee for Valley Partnership; Board Member and Past President, of the Phoenix Parks Foundation; and Executive Director of the Arizona Energy Consortium.
A native of Colorado, De Blasi earned a B.S. in political science with a minor in biology/zoology from Arizona State University and a J.D., Law, Certificate of Emphasis in Environmental Law, from the University of Washington.
For more information visit mdb-law.com.