When Ballard Spahr put down roots in Baltimore 20 years ago, it was more than a business decision—it was a commitment to serve the community. Today, the firm was honored by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake as one of the winners of the 2012 Mayor’s Business Recognition Awards for community service by members of the private sector.

Ballard Spahr attorneys are well-known for giving back to the communities where they live and work by participating in community service projects, serving on the boards of local nonprofit organizations, and performing pro bono legal work. The Baltimore office has followed through on this mission since it opened its doors in 1992, with attorneys providing more than 30,000 hours of pro bono legal services to the community.

“Being a good citizen is a core value of the firm,” said Jon Laria, Managing Partner of the Baltimore office. “We’re proud to call Baltimore home, and we’re always ready to answer the call to citizenship. We’re honored that Mayor Rawlings-Blake has chosen to recognize our commitment to community service with this award.”

In October, the office celebrated its 20th anniversary with 25 volunteers cleaning up and improving the City’s Reservoir Hill neighborhood by planting trees, building flower boxes, and clearing debris. The firm partnered with the Parks & People Foundation on the neighborhood cleanup project.

The firm’s pro bono work in Baltimore this year includes representing Star-Spangled 200, Inc., in launching the State's celebration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. The Baltimore office also has pledged to provide at least 2,000 hours of pro bono legal services in 2013.

Additionally, Ballard Spahr has been involved in efforts to renovate the Mount Auburn Cemetery, the oldest African American-owned cemetery in Baltimore.
The Mayor’s Business Recognition Awards recognize outstanding corporate leadership, commitment to community, and dedication to improving the quality of life in Baltimore City. The annual awards event is presented by the Greater Baltimore Committee and the Baltimore Development Corporation.

“Ballard Spahr is an excellent example of a business that cares about more than making a profit—it cares deeply about the community,” Mayor Rawlings-Blake said. “This award recognizes the tremendous efforts they’ve made to give back to Baltimore City.”

The Baltimore office is one of the firm’s largest. Its attorneys advise corporate, institutional, and entrepreneurial clients in matters involving business law, commercial litigation, labor and employment, public and project finance, securities, and real estate.

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