Press Release

Kahlil Williams, Emilia McKee Vassallo, and Chittam Thakore Selected for Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Roles

March 14, 2023

Ballard Spahr attorneys Kahlil C. Williams and Emilia McKee Vassallo have been named Fellows of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) for 2023, and Chittam U. Thakore has been named a 2023 LCLD Pathfinder, the firm announced.

LCLD, based in Richmond, Virginia, is an organization of more than 400 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners—including Ballard Spahr Chair Mark Stewart—who have pledged to create a “truly diverse U.S. legal profession” through the organization’s initiatives and other means. Member corporations and law firms select diverse, high-performing, high-potential attorneys to participate as LCLD Fellows and Pathfinders. Mr. Williams, Ms. McKee Vassallo, and Ms. Thakore were nominated for participation by Mr. Stewart.

The Fellows program is designed for mid-career lawyers with up to 15 years of experience. The intensive, year-long professional development program connects high-performing attorneys with leading general counsel, managing partners, and their peers for mentoring and career guidance.

Pathfinders program participants learn from top leaders in the legal profession as well as career development experts. The program, conducted over seven months, is designed to train high-performing, early-career attorneys on foundational leadership and relationship-building skills.

Both the Fellows and Pathfinders programs are designed to supplement training and development initiatives already in place at LCLD member firms. All three of Ballard Spahr's 2023 LCLD representatives serve on the firm’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. The Council works closely with the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer to develop, promote, and implement key initiatives to guide the firm toward its diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.

Kahlil Williams is a partner in Ballard Spahr’s Litigation Department. He represents companies and individuals in government and internal investigations, actions involving securities and corporate governance, and complex commercial litigation, as well as voting rights and election law matters. Mr. Williams leads the firm’s Black Lawyers Group, serves as co-leader of both the Racial Justice and Equality Initiative and the Environmental, Social, and Governance Working Group, and is a member of the Hiring Committee.

Emilia McKee Vassallo, also a litigation partner, focuses on conducting internal investigations and representing businesses, organizations, and individuals in white collar defense and complex commercial litigation. She is a member of Ballard Spahr’s Hiring Committee and plays an active role in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at the firm, including collaboration with clients on issues of mutual interest.

Chittam Thakore is of counsel in Ballard Spahr’s Intellectual Property Department and IP Litigation Group. With a technical background in the life sciences, she advises clients on IP litigation strategy, and has well-rounded experience that includes patent, trademark, and trade secret litigation. Dr. Thakore, who holds a Ph.D. in cell biology, served from 2022 through February 2023 as co-leader of Ballard Women, a business resource group that focuses on the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women at the firm.

For media inquiries, please contact Bill Shralow at 215.864.8195.

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