Diversity + Inclusion at Ballard Spahr

Research shows that diverse and inclusive teams are more innovative, engaged, and creative in their work. That’s no surprise to us. We’ve always believed that varied perspectives drive insightful counsel. That’s why we remain committed to creating a vibrant community where the needs, perspectives, and contributions of people from all backgrounds are valued and integrated into every part of the firm.

Diversity is the natural result of an inclusive environment. We create diversity through recruiting, maintain it through inclusion, support it with our many affinity groups, and advance it through partnerships with clients and community. The diverse legal teams we create are better positioned to understand our clients' businesses and help them meet the evolving challenges of a global economy.

Because diversity matters, so do results. Ballard Spahr has been recognized nationally and regionally for the success of our efforts across the firm, including inclusiveness in our leadership ranks. We pledge to continue raising the bar for ourselves because we know the success of our firm and our profession is at stake. 

  • Ballard Spahr is currently ranked one of the top 10 law firms in the country for our percentage of women lawyers, women equity partners, and minority equity partners.
  • We earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, which recognizes benefits and protections for LGBTQ employees and their families.
  • For the seventh consecutive year, Ballard Spahr was awarded Gold Standard Certification by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum for its high number of female leaders. Thirty percent of our practice groups are led by women and female partners make up half of our compensation committee.


Recruiting is central to Ballard Spahr's commitment to improving diversity. The goal is to attract talented diverse attorneys to our offices across the country, as well as improve diversity within the legal profession as a whole.

We regularly benchmark our firm's demographics against national surveys. While we aren't focused on chasing numbers, we do allow those numbers to show us where attention is needed. We increase awareness of our firm and support the pipeline of law students entering the profession by:

  • Partnering with affinity-based law student organizations across the country
  • Hosting networking events where law students can meet our lawyers and our clients
  • Reminding internal and external recruiters that we expect diverse slates of candidates
  • Encouraging our affinity groups to share open lateral positions within their networks and informing our vast network of affinity associations about open lateral positions
  • Participating in job fairs that attract diverse law students


Focusing on inclusiveness—the effective integration, development, and engagement of all lawyers—is paramount to maintaining diversity throughout the firm. Our Diversity and Inclusion Council works closely with the firm's Chief Diversity Officer to develop, promote, and implement key initiatives, guide us toward our diversity and inclusion goals, and collaborate with clients on issues of mutual interest.

Creating an inclusive environment means focusing on one-on-one relationships as well as day-to-day interactions within the firm. It means: 

  • Creating diverse teams for client matters 
  • Ensuring a smooth transition into the firm for lateral hires 
  • Monitoring our work assignment process to make sure it fosters opportunity and development 
  • Supporting the networking and business development efforts of our affinity groups 
  • Examining the pipeline for advancement and succession in law firm leadership


Our affinity groups comprise lawyers with shared cultural, experiential, or professional interests, experiences, or backgrounds. Affinity groups support retention through informal mentoring, internal networking, business development support, and recruiting. The groups are open to all Ballard Spahr lawyers interested in supporting our diversity initiatives.

Partnering With Our Clients and the Community

Our Diversity and Inclusion efforts extend beyond the walls of Ballard Spahr. We partner with clients to support diversity and inclusion in the firm and in the profession—from networking through our affinity groups to sharing best practices, collaborating on the recruitment of law students, and working together to create diverse teams.

We also support organizations that advance diversity and inclusion and help build the pipeline of those interested in a career in law. We strive to do our part at every stage of development—from reading to second-graders as part of the Philadelphia Reads program, to our groundbreaking sponsorship of Constitution High School for American Studies, to our participation in diversity fellowship programs and our financial and mentoring support for diverse law students.


Ballard Spahr is inclusive in our selection and use of local counsel, legal service providers, and vendors. We actively seek to do businesses with firms owned by women, minorities, members of the LGBTQ community, veterans, and people with disabilities.


It is the policy of Ballard Spahr to provide equal employment opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, age, national origin, handicap or disability, citizenship, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, transgender status, sex stereotyping, genetic information, ancestry, veteran status or any other category protected by applicable law.