Firm: Ballard Spahr
Holly Horsley, a partner at Ballard Spahr LLP, said she didn’t just fall into public finance. The Baton Rouge, La., native spent her first four years as an undergraduate at Louisiana State University working with the governor's office as an assistant to the chief of staff. She handled all of the bond program applications and as a result was able to meet all sorts of bond lawyers in the state of Louisiana.
"That experience opened up my eyes to a whole new area of finance that I had never heard about,” Holly said.
The Rising Star said that the years of sitting in on meetings with bond lawyers pitching projects really sparked her interest in becoming a bond lawyer.
Holly says she enjoys how collaborative the work is. “You have these working groups and we are all working together for one goal and that is to help the client and help their project come to life,” she said.
Holly has already made an indelible mark in charter school financing in New Jersey and throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. In 2017, she represented Mastery Charter Schools in an approximately $36 million financing — with seven lenders — to renovate four separate Renaissance schools in Camden, N.J.
"Holly also has carved out a niche in higher education financing," Christine Duff, communications manager at Ballard Spahr said. "She has participated in transactions on behalf of many of New Jersey's leading colleges and universities, including serving as counsel to Princeton University on bond financings issued through the New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority. These deals resulted in nearly $100 million of debt service savings and were the largest transactions in NJEFA history."
Holly has also served her community though pro bono work where she has represented organizations that advance criminal justice reform, human rights, open space preservation, and youth leadership.
Holly said that when she isn't working she loves to workout with her four-year-old son. "We love going to our gym to swim and just being active," she said.