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2017 Top 40 Under 40: Nupur Bal, 36

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Family law isn't an easy job, emotionally or intellectually, but Nupur Bal tries diligently to create innovative strategies that support children. She's focused on advocating for those who can't advocate for themselves, and thus finds herself drawn to divorce proceedings and custody cases. A previous board member for Stop Child Abuse Now, she currently serves on the Junior Board of the Children's Hospital Foundation.

Bal would know about the hard work that change entails. Born in India in 1980, she and her parents immigrated to the United States six years later. At 34, she was the first Asian elected to head the Young Lawyers Division of the Virginia Bar Association. Then, in 2015, she started her own firm, which employs four other lawyers and two paralegals, plus support staff.

Now Bal aims to support her own son at Collegiate School, where she sits on the parent admissions committee. When an afterschool instructor suffered the loss of a child and a burglar in the same night, Bal rushed to social media to spread a Go Fund Me campaign.

"I feel very blessed to be working for families and children," she says. "There is no worse time in one's life than when your family is falling apart. I take great pride and care in helping individuals get through that difficult time with dignity and respect."