Georgia Lawyers for the Arts (GLA) has honored Ballard Spahr with its 2015 Firm of the Year award. GLA presented the award on December 10 at its 40th anniversary gala.

Dr. Mary Anthony Merchant, a partner in the firm’s Atlanta office, led the team of 21 Ballard Spahr lawyers who worked with the organization in 2015. They devoted nearly 400 hours of pro bono service to matters referred by GLA and took on more cases than any other firm. Ballard Spahr has been involved with GLA since 2008.

GLA is a nonprofit organization that provides legal assistance and educational programming to artists and arts organizations in Georgia. With more than 500 volunteer and member attorneys, GLA provides legal assistance to musicians, songwriters, photographers, filmmakers, painters, poets, graphic designers, actors, theatre companies, dance troupes, museums, and artists from many other disciplines.

This year, GLA began acting as the regional clearinghouse for pro bono cases distributed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. With its particular knowledge of patent law, the Ballard Spahr Atlanta office took on many GLA cases in that area.

Ballard Spahr has a long-standing commitment to providing pro bono legal services. Each year, firm attorneys contribute more than 35,000 hours of pro bono legal services to a range of recipients including nonprofit organizations, low-income individuals, and arts groups.