Knowing more about the people we work with is the fun side of the business. It helps start conversations and strengthens business relationships.

In this installation of “After Hours,” meet Janis Bladine, a partner at Jennings, Haug & Cunningham LLP.

Years at company: 2
Office: Central Avenue & Thomas Road, Phoenix
Education: Arizona State University College of Law and B.S. from Northern Arizona University

Primary responsibilities:
As an environmental lawyer, I work with private businesses & public entities across Arizona. They rely on me to help understand the myriad of environmental laws and regulations that apply to their business or projects and advise on what is necessary to comply. Environmental laws are often complex and confusing. I regularly help by translating these requirements into user-friendly, understandable language, offering clear definitions and answering their questions. Also, when clients are proactive I enjoy collaborating and discussing the potential impact that relevant environmental laws may have on their business in advance of decisions. This is the best way to ensure well-informed decisions are made prior to development.

In commercial real estate transactions, I help parties understand the implications of environmental due diligence reports and provide assistance in negotiating various environmental protections for the buyer or seller.

sports team // The Phoenix Suns
Music // Contemporary Christian is on my radio, but I like most kinds of music.
Travel destination // I’m looking forward to exploring some beautiful natural areas in Washington, such as hiking through Olympic National Park rainforest and then to also stay at the TreeHouse Point bed & breakfast in Fall City.
Leisure activities // I love spending time at home tending to my urban farm. Our home is in a neighborhood that was originally a citrus orchard with flood irrigation. We still have about a dozen grapefruit and orange trees. To that, we’ve added lemon, apple, nectarine, plum, apricot and pomegranate trees. We also have chickens roaming the backyard. They not only produce wonderful eggs, but they also eat many of our leftovers and trimmings. My husband and son built me two raised bed planters that house my herb garden and various vegetables. I find tending to my urban farm is quite relaxing and creates a beautiful home environment for my family.

What did you think you’d be when you grew up?
I’ve wanted to be a lawyer since I was very young though my family cautioned I was “too nice” to be a lawyer. I’m proud of the trusted relationships I have with my clients, which they’ve explained is largely attributed to my approach and personality. They appreciate that spending time with their lawyer is pleasant, some have even said “enjoyable!”

Of what personal or professional accomplishment are you most proud?
While with the City of Tempe, I was proud of being a key part of a legal team that took a case to the Arizona Supreme Court where we prevailed in upholding the voters’ intent against a challenge to the law. It was very rewarding to work closely as a team and fighting for something about which I felt so passionately. Transitioning to environmental law was natural for me after this experience.

What would people be surprised to know about you?
I’m a third generation Arizona native who raises chickens.