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 locally for the success of our efforts, including for inclusiveness in our leadership.

  • 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 eighth 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.

CREATING DIVERSITY THROUGH RECRUITMENT

Recruiting is central to Ballard Spahr's commitment to improving diversity. We aim not only to attract talented diverse attorneys to our offices across the country, but to improve diversity within the legal profession.

When a job opening occurs, we cast the widest possible net for prospective employees. We make our internal and external recruiters aware that we are looking for diverse candidate slates, and our affinity groups share open lateral positions within their networks. We also inform local and national affinity associations about open lateral positions.

We participate in job fairs, programs, fellowships, and scholarship opportunities that attract diverse law students. Our outreach to law students includes:

  • Diversity fellowships and writing program opportunities for first- and second-year law students in our offices in Baltimore, Denver, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, New York, and Washington, D.C.
  • Diversity scholarship to the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University
  • Delaware State Bar Association Minority Job Fair
  • Philadelphia Area Diversity Job Fair
  • Rocky Mountain Diversity Legal Career Fair
  • Lavender Law Job Fair
  • Philadelphia Diversity Law Group 1L Program
  • State Bar of Arizona Diversity Writing Program
  • National and regional law students association conferences and career fairs
  • HNBA/Microsoft Intellectual Property Law Institute
  • Minnesota Affinity Bar Law Career Symposium
  • Howard University School of Law Recruitment Outreach
  • Western Region, National Black Law Students Association Job Fair
  • Mid-Atlantic Black Law Students Association Job Fair
  • Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers Twin Cities Diversity in Practice Summer Social

MAINTAINING DIVERSITY THROUGH INCLUSIVENESS

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

AFFINITY GROUPS

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.

SUPPLIER DIVERSITY STATEMENT

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.

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

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.