It is a singular challenge to bring renaissance-person breadth to a pointed focus. I got my bachelors degree, completed additional science and design classes, and worked in a law office for years. But I was really spending the last decade looking for understanding and maturity.

I learned about contributing, and creating value, and that's what my next decade will bear. When I finish my juris doctor in December 2015, I will be engrossed in attorney work, entrepreneurialism, and changing the way law looks at tech, and vice versa. Those are the new goals, because the challenge of honing value is an exciting one, and the fulfillment of work well-done is among the most meaningful things in life.  I ask myself everyday: what can I bring to your table? 

It’s my impression that everyone’s a little weird, and that the law community doesn’t always like a fresh narrative. So while I do shun boxes, I’m learning to think in them when necessary. This “About” page should give you a little insight into my personal set of idiosyncrasies, and how they fit with you.

How to Disambiguate J. Gabe

I'm not John Ballard. He was my grandfather, and I'm named after him. But I'm Gabe. So that's what you call me: that or Gabriel, (or Gaber, Jack, “J. Gabe,”) or el Gaberino, if you know my web handle, “elgaberino.”

And if you're that classy old lady at Panera, you just go right on calling me “Gable.”


Explaining contract damages to my classmates, 2012. Sometimes I look like this. Other times I have more hair and a beard. There’s no telling when I will look one way or the other.


El Gaberino

In 2005, a friend convinced me to start blogging on Xanga, which is as dead now as it was definitely alive and kicking ten years ago. That site was some unholy mixture of written social media that amplified histrionics and bred drama like bread mold. I was full of unambitious burnout after a couple disillusioning years in politics, so I dabbled on Xanga while making lattes, playing in bands, taking design classes, and eventually working as a legal assistant. I took up haiku during some of those times I asked myself why I couldn't write well enough to be featured on the front page. It was always a little mysterious how the Xanga staff selected their front page material, but it was a privilege to get tapped for it. After my first couple of front page features, I became something of a minor “Xangalebrity” due to my writing on culture and music. I even managed to win a couple popularity contests; Xanga users elected me their unofficial “president” in 2008.

Years investment on that defunct platform taught me that:

  • You do cool things when you set goals;
  • Repetition and perfectionism over time will turn many people into great communicators;
  • Most people aren't trying, so if you do, you'll have an advantage;
  • Being a part of a dynamic community is fun;
  • Networking is as valuable as it is natural.