Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Equity means making resources and opportunities accessible to everyone. Law firms become more equitable when they identify the barriers some groups face due to historic imbalances, and take concrete steps to remove those barriers so that all lawyers and staff have access to valuable work assignments, professional development, promotion, advancement, and leadership. Improving equity means examining the status quo and applying thoughtful solutions to ensure that internal systems provide everyone with access to opportunity.
Inclusion is the intentional engagement and effective integration of individuals from all backgrounds, which empower lawyers and staff to contribute their perspectives and ideas. Inclusion is indispensable for reaping the benefits of diversity.
Equity + Inclusion = Diversity
Ballard Spahr is committed to increasing equity and inclusion because they create a diverse and well-rounded law firm that delivers superior results for clients.
Unlocking the potential of diverse talent among lawyers and staff is the right thing to do for our firm, our profession, and our broader communities. And it’s good business. 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.
Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council works closely with the firm's Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer to develop, promote, and implement key initiatives and guide us toward continuous improvement. This work is infused into every aspect of firm business, from recruiting, retention, and promotion to business development, client service, and communication. Here are just some of the ways we live our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion:
- Staffing diverse teams for client matters
- Integrating lateral hires effectively
- Monitoring our work assignment process to ensure access to opportunity
- Building the pipeline for advancement and succession in our leadership
- Engaging both staff and lawyers through networking and mentoring programs
- Empowering administrative leadership to set benchmarks and take action
- Employing an equity mindset and challenging the status quo
Diversity, equity, and inclusion extends outside the firm. We make an impact on communities through civic leadership and pro bono work, including our Racial Justice and Equality Initiative, as well as through fundraising campaigns for social justice organizations and by ensuring supplier diversity in local counsel, legal service providers, and other vendors. We actively seek to do business with firms owned by women, people of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, veterans, and individuals with a disability.
We don’t just talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion—we walk the talk. Ballard Spahr has been recognized nationally and locally for the success of our efforts, including for inclusiveness in our leadership. We are Mansfield 4.0 certified, with Mansfield Certification Plus status for achieving at least 30 percent diverse lawyer representation in a notable number of its current leadership roles. We are ranked as one of the best law firms for women, and earned a perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, earning the designation of a "Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality."
Ballard Spahr Attains Mansfield Rule 4.0 Certification, Plus Status for Diversity and Inclusion in Firm LeadershipRead the Press Release
Rankings and Recognition
A Perfect Score on the Corporate Equality Index
Human Rights Campaign, 2022
Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Legal Profession
Utah Center for Legal Inclusion, 2022
Recognized by Center for Legal Inclusiveness
Law Firm/Legal Department Inclusiveness@Work Award, 2022
A Leading U.S. Firm for Women
Recognized for our high percentage of female partners
Law 360 Glass Ceiling Report, 2020-2021
Recognized in 'AI Visionaries' List
A Top Firm for Working Mothers
Seramount (formerly Working Mother magazine), 2021
Recognized for Work-Life Balance Policies
"Agency & Flexibility" Category of Yale Law Women’s Top Firms Report, 2022
Business Resource Groups
INVEST is a tactical approach to recruiting, retaining, and advancing talent from diverse backgrounds. It’s a sponsorship program that provides career development opportunities to lawyers who have overcome significant obstacles in pursuit of a legal career, come from a disadvantaged background, or who are underrepresented at Am Law 200 law firms.
Associates will participate in a Business Challenge Project by developing a potential solution to a firm management issue, and also will partner with a firm client in a Client Matter Leadership Opportunity.
While sponsors are champions for their protégés, INVEST ultimately encourages and empowers protégés to be the captains of their own careers by recognizing their initiative and desire to develop at the firm.