Dana Ball is a former litigation attorney who used to sue businesses. She has seen too many good business owners end up in bad situations, so today, she helps them avoid common legal mistakes that land them in court.
Dana’s 20 years of experience brings value and relief to small business owners with practical advice they can immediately implement into their day-to-day operations. Dana has made the process of having access to a small business attorney E.A.S.Y. with set pricing, ongoing legal support, and timely consultations to get questions answered so clients can get back to running their business.
Dana helps small businesses avoid a legal mess with LLCs, S Corps, contracts, business purchases, independent contractors, and employees.
Dana grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has always loved business. Her first business venture was at 6 when she sold napkins to the guests at her sister’s wedding! Despite maybe her mother’s embarrassment, Dana was proud to show her mom all the money she made that night as the flower girl. Then her first “real” job was at the age of 12, where she cleaned toilets and dusted the furniture working in her family’s Scandinavian furniture store.
During high school, she was not your typical high school student with lots of free time instead, she worked at the store every day after school and all day Saturdays. She probably complained at the time, but today will tell you that this taught her a lot about the hard work it takes to run a business. Another interesting fact about Dana is that she spent her junior year of high school living in Chateauroux, France as a Rotary exchange student.
Dana learned early that problems don’t go away on their own.
Dana graduated from Olympus High School in 1989 and attended the University of Utah. While she continued working for the family business during college, she saw firsthand the financial stress on her family that comes with running a business and handling employee matters. Often Dana was the one the employees came to with questions, and she enjoyed bringing employee issues to her dad and brother for resolution. Dana also volunteered at the Salt Lake Rape Crisis Center while in college. She was trained to answer crisis line calls from individuals in awful and dangerous situations.
In 1995, she graduated from the University of Utah with two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Organizational Communication and French.
With two college degrees and a dream to attend law school, Dana moved to Boston, where she worked as an HR Representative for 2 years. Luckily, she landed a position with a non-profit school called The May Institute as a Human Resources Representative for two years. Here, Dana performed 339 interviews of prospective employees; designed interviewing, hiring, and training systems; provided human resource support to 200 employees by updating personnel records, investigating complaints, and maintaining EEO compliance.
Working in HR, Dana saw first-hand that clear rules pay off the first time an employee issue happens.
She loves helping business owners set up the rules that provide consistency, protection, and a great place to work.
Law school provided the tools and mentors that inspired Dana to protect our workplaces.
She also participated on Golden Gate University law school’s Moot Court team for the National Appellate Advocacy competition. Her team was chosen to present oral arguments in the National competition held in Los Angeles, California.
While a third-year law student, she recruited 60 fellow students and founded a new student group called the Employment Law Group for the Student Bar Association. Overall, Dana’s experience on the employee side is a huge benefit to her current small business clients.
During law school, Dana “took a bite out of discrimination” by working at the EEOC.
During law school, Dana gained extensive experience with Employment Law matters while working at:
San Francisco Jobs
Out of several applicants, Dana was awarded the only fellowship position with WERC upon graduating from law school. WERC provides free legal representation to employees who can’t afford to hire an attorney while giving law students real-life experience handling legal cases. As the Graduate Law Fellow, Dana assisted clients with the following:
- General workplace concerns
- Administrative agency charges and interviews, but also
- Supervised and trained the student clinicians on representing clients with legal matters.
Once the fellowship ended, she accepted a Law Clerk position with a well-known bay area civil rights attorney, Cliff Palefsky. At this firm, McGuinn Hillsman & Palefsky, Dana performed and evaluated 700 intakes over a 9-month period, covering issues of:
- Pregnancy, disability, gender, race, and age discrimination
- Sexual harassment
- Worker’s compensation, and
- Breach of contract
Dana appreciates working with Mr. Palefsky, who showed her how to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of cases. He also mentored Dana to not be a typical attorney, instead respects clients’ time and returns calls promptly no matter how busy we think we are.
One of the biggest complaints about attorneys is they fail to return calls and are not readily available.
Dana has made access to an attorney easy for small business owners to help them when they need legal advice.
Working as a Utah Attorney
In 2001, Dana married her husband, Doug, and convinced him to move to Utah in 2002. Upon her return to Utah, she practiced solo until joining the Provo firm of ESPLIN │ WEIGHT in 2006. Over the years, Dana has sued large and small companies for harassment, discrimination, wage and hour disputes, and other wrongful termination claims. She often found herself involved in small business litigation matters over breach of contract and business partner breakups.
From Dana Ball Legal Services to Avanta
In 2010, Dana decided to stop litigating because she was frustrated by all the money and time wasted on messy lawsuits that could be prevented. After 3 years of running the operations of her husband’s dental practice, Dana had the bright idea to open another law firm, but this time run it like a business.
Running a law firm like a business provides immediate value to clients. Dana immediately switched from hourly billing to set fees, and she declared war on legalese. All agreements were cleaned up to active voice, no passive voice, no “recitals,” and no “heretofore,” etc. “That was a huge undertaking, but it has made all the difference in establishing why our services bring immediate value to our small business clients.”
The direction of rebranding from Dana Ball Legal Services to “AVANTA” in 2022 supported Dana’s goals to provide clients with an efficient and streamlined process from the initial consultation to the fulfillment of the services.
Avanta offers small business compliance support services with the following:
- Plain language contracts
- Legal entity maintenance; and
- HR support
The two primary reasons small businesses could be sued is (1) over a contract or (2) an issue with an employee. We keep small businesses out of court by streamlining the delivery of our services with the following:
- A Dedicated Attorney. To build customized and easy-to-understand agreements, Avanta sends out questionnaires to collect the necessary information. Each client works directly with a dedicated attorney to evaluate their needs, understand their expectations, and determine what key language should be included, given the circumstances.
- Maintenance Made E.A.S.Y. A legal entity is the first step in protecting our client’s personal assets. Our legal entity support includes showing clients how to use the documents we create for them so certain actions are captured easily. We give clients the tools to stay on top of their legal entity’s maintenance obligations to deserve liability protection for the life of the business.
- Consistency and Civility. Our clients quickly see how stressful it is the first time an employee issue arises. We build out customized planning and documents so clients are forced to be consistent with compliance to protect the workplace environment. Finally, we offer training tools that make it easy for small businesses to incorporate into their operations and workplace culture.
Like her clients, Dana is a typical entrepreneur.
Here are some of her current side gigs:
- Serves on the board of a fabulous non-profit organization called Be Humanitarian
- Speaks at a variety of events
- Participates as a guest on podcasts
- Graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10k Small Business program
Dana and her team aim to help small business owners worry “a little” less about running their business, one business owner at a time.
Let's work together
“Thankful for Dana’s legal advice and insight for my business. She gave me great ideas and resources to resolve legal issues. Will be recommending her to others!”Ty EricksonBusiness Owner
“Dana was very helpful and informative in preparing us for legal action! She was easy to talk to, and we appreciate the consultation and recommendations of an attorney more specialized in the area we needed! Dana is very knowledgeable and also appreciated her quick response.”Carol Tanner
“Dana knows what she knows and will make it known if something is outside of her wheelhouse. Highly recommend.”Paul Johnston
“Dana was so incredibly helpful in answering all of my questions. I run a small design business and she was able to lay out everything I needed to make sure I was covered in every aspect of my business. Which I would have over-looked other wise. Dana and her whole staff is friendly and will treat you with respect. Thanks Dana Ball!”Kaley West