Ballard Spahr lawyers Christopher D. Bell and Jacqueline Parker have been named to the inaugural Nation's Best list, published by the nonprofit Lawyers of Color, in conjunction with diversity recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa and the Diverse Partners Network. The list recognizes exceptional partners and senior-level attorneys of color at law firms and in-house at corporations in the U.S.

Lawyers of Color works to promote diversity in the legal profession and advance democracy and equality in marginalized communities. In addition to celebrating attorneys of color, the organization conducts research on the intersection of social justice and the legal profession.

"While there have been gains in terms of increasing diversity and bolstering inclusion, we still have a long way to go in the legal profession," said Mr. Bell. "Lists like this one celebrate lawyers of color and demonstrate to the next generation what's possible. We are proud to be included."

Mr. Bell is a Partner in Ballard Spahr's Washington, D.C. office. He represents real estate lenders, borrowers, and developers in transactional and regulatory issues, with a concentration on financing transactions involving government-sponsored enterprises. Before joining Ballard Spahr, Mr. Bell practiced for more than 10 years at Fannie Mae, where he served as Associate General Counsel in Multifamily Housing and Community Development.

Ms. Parker, Of Counsel in the firm's New York office, is a consumer financial services attorney with more than 20 years of experience. She has spent her career as a strategic adviser for domestic and international financial institutions and companies offering consumer products and services, including credit cards, mortgages, home equity loans and lines of credit, mobile payments, and deposit accounts.

Ballard Spahr long has been dedicated to advancing diversity and inclusion internally and in the legal profession at large. In 2018, the firm ranked as one of the top 10 law firms of its size for minority lawyers by Law360's Diversity Snapshot. It sponsors a business resource group for diverse lawyers, which hosts yearly workshops on resume writing and interviewing skills for first-year diverse law students, sponsors diversity fellowships to attract and recruit diverse law students, and organizes diverse lawyer networking events.

"Part of what drew me to Ballard Spahr was the firm's sincere commitment to furthering diversity and creating a more inclusive environment," said Ms. Parker. "I'm honored to be recognized by Lawyers of Color and thankful for colleagues who support these efforts, which are very near and dear to me."