For the fifth consecutive year, the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) has awarded its Gold Standard Certification to Ballard Spahr—one of only a handful of law firms nationally to earn the designation all five years since it was created. Certification recognizes firms that have successfully integrated outstanding female attorneys into the highest echelons of leadership.

The WILEF Gold Standard emphasizes leadership positions achieved by women equity partners. The standard is based on objective criteria for female participation in firm and practice management and governance, as well as promotion and compensation of women attorneys.

“Earning the Gold Standard Certification is a great point of pride for Ballard Spahr, and to achieve the standard for five years running shows how deep our commitment to diversity and inclusion is,” said Lynn E. Rzonca, co-leader of the firm’s Ballard Women affinity group. “We will keep building on our success, which results from the outstanding skills and credentials of our female lawyers as well as strong, unified support from the firm’s entire leadership team— women and men.”

Law firms with 300 or more practicing lawyers in the United States were eligible for 2015 WILEF Gold Standard Certification. To earn certification, firms must show that women constitute a significant percentage of chairs, managing partners, department heads, and group leaders. Women must also make up a significant proportion of equity partners, members of governance and compensation committees, and the most highly compensated attorneys.

Ballard Spahr’s long-standing commitment to advancing women in the legal industry has been recognized by other authoritative sources as well. Earlier this year, Law360 named the firm one of the top 100 law firms nationally for female attorneys and The Am Law Daily ranked Ballard Spahr fourth in the nation for percentage of women equity partners. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession named Ballard Spahr to its Honor Roll of Legal Organizations Welcoming Women Professionals.

Ballard Women, which includes partners, counsel, and of counsel, hosts events for women clients and prospective clients; develops mentoring programs for their younger counterparts; and sponsors professional development programs. In addition, the Ballard Women Associates affinity group provides opportunities for networking, mentoring, and professional development. Together with Ballard Women, it is a resource to law students and young lawyers.


Lynn E. Rzonca