For the ninth consecutive year, Ballard Spahr has earned the Gold Standard Certification from the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF). The firm is among an elite group of law firms that has received this recognition each year since the program's inception in 2011.

WILEF is the premier organization dedicated to helping women in the largest law firms and corporate law departments advance their careers through empowerment and leadership.

Gold Standard Certification is based on objective criteria for female participation in firm and practice management and governance, as well as the promotion and compensation of women attorneys. It emphasizes leadership positions achieved by women equity partners and recognizes firms for their commitment to promoting and fairly compensating women and successfully integrating outstanding female attorneys into the highest echelons of leadership.

"Diversity and inclusion are high priorities for the firm," said Salt Lake City-based Melanie J. Vartabedian, co-leader of the firm's Ballard Women business resource group. "Firm leadership is committed to creating an environment where women excel. The Gold Standard Certification from WILEF demonstrates that commitment."

Ballard Spahr has long been committed to advancing women in law. It was recently ranked by Law360 as one of the top U.S. firms for women, placing it 11th among firms with more than 600 lawyers. The firm has also been ranked among the top 50 law firms for women attorneys by the National Law Journal's Female Scorecard. With women comprising 26.5 percent of its equity partners, Ballard Spahr is above the national average.

The firm supports its female lawyers through the Ballard Women business resource group, which is co-chaired by Ms. Vartabedian, New York City Partner Denise L. Plunkett, Phoenix Associate Lea A. Phillips, and Philadelphia Associate Jane Rose Siegfried. The group hosts events for women clients and prospective clients, supports a mentoring program for younger women lawyers, and sponsors professional development programming. It is committed to improving the professional experience of women lawyers and bolstering their trajectory into key participation and leadership roles, both inside and outside the firm.