Legal Services of New Jersey will honor Ballard Spahr with the Equal Justice Medal, recognizing "extraordinary" pro bono contributions, at the organization's annual awards reception tonight.

Ballard Spahr has a dedicated and longstanding relationship with South Jersey Legal Services, Inc. (SJLS), one of the state's six programs overseen by Legal Services of New Jersey. In the last two years, 15 Ballard Spahr lawyers and paralegals have contributed nearly 450 hours to pro bono matters referred by SJLS. The matters range from expungement of record cases to a parent's appeal for a child's SSI benefits. The firm also provides direct employment counsel to SJLS.

"As lawyers, it is both our obligation and our privilege to provide pro bono legal counsel to those who can't afford it," said Ballard Spahr Partner Denise Keyser, a labor and employment lawyer who has worked with SJLS for more than 10 years. "We are grateful to have partners in our community like SJLS to help connect us with clients in need."

In keeping with the firm's strong pro bono commitment, lawyers in the New Jersey office contribute legal services to a variety of individuals, organizations, and causes in need. Their work has been recognized by local organizations. Most recently, Ms. Keyser and fellow New Jersey Partner Barbara Casey were honored with the Volunteers of the Year award from the nonprofit Pro Bono Partnership.

Ballard Spahr is a signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge, which was established by the American Bar Association (ABA). It has annually made and met a commitment to donate at least 3 percent of its billable hours to pro bono service—more than 50,000 hours this past year. The firm consistently ranks among the top 100 law firms in the Am Law Pro Bono Report and has received numerous awards in recognition of its outstanding commitment to pro bono work, including the ABA's 2018 Pro Bono Publico Award.