Leslie E. John, a member and former Co-Chair of Ballard Spahr’s Diversity Council, has been named the recipient of the Albert S. Dandridge, III Business Law Section Diversity Award. The newly established award will be presented by the Business Law Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association on January 21.

The award is given annually to an individual or organization that has made a substantial contribution to diversity in the Philadelphia area and promotes full and equal participation and inclusion within the legal profession. It is named for Albert S. Dandridge, III, a former Business Law Section Chair and a driving force behind the creation of the Business Law Section’s Diversity Plan. The award is accompanied by a donation made on the recipient’s behalf to an entity that embodies the Business Law Section’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

"Leslie has played a pivotal role in making Ballard Spahr a firm where talented professionals from a wide range of backgrounds can flourish," firm Chair Mark Stewart said. "She is a mentor and a leader who puts her ideals into action in ways that benefit our clients, our lawyers, and our firm."

Ms. John, who leads Ballard Spahr’s Antitrust Group, helped develop innovative programs to improve the retention and advancement of diverse attorneys during her term as Diversity Council Co-Chair. These include annual post-evaluation meetings with all diverse associates to discuss goals for the year ahead and the firm’s participation in a rainmaking mentor program through the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group, which served as a model for the firm’s Pathways Program matching fourth-year associates with rainmaking partners for business development mentoring. She also mentors female associates as a member of Ballard Women, the firm’s affinity group for female partners, counsel, and of counsel.

Said Justin P. Klein, Practice Leader of the firm’s Securities Group and a fellow Diversity Council member who nominated Ms. John for the award: “Leslie is not only an exceptional litigator, she also is an extremely dedicated champion of diversity and inclusion. It’s particularly meaningful that this award pays tribute to Al Dandridge, whom I’ve known for more than 30 years, and whose results-focused leadership style Leslie emulates.”

In her antitrust practice, Ms. John represents clients in federal and state courts and before the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission. She has experience with the litigation of class actions and complex commercial cases. For the past two years, she has been recognized by Benchmark as one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation. In the community, she serves on the boards of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation and the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group and as General Counsel of WOMEN’S WAY, the nation’s oldest women’s funding federation, which raises funds and awareness to empower women in the greater Philadelphia area.

“Ballard Spahr’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is based on a deeply held conviction that I share. I appreciate the opportunities and support I’ve had to help make the firm and the legal profession more inclusive places to work,” said Ms. John. “I have tremendous respect for Albert Dandridge as a leader in promoting diversity in the practice of law, and I am honored to receive this award.”

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