Virginia Essandoh JD

Virginia G. Essandoh, J.D.

Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer

Virginia G. Essandoh serves as the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer of Ballard Spahr and is a member of the firm's Senior Leadership Team. She develops, oversees, and provides strategic leadership to Ballard Spahr's diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

Working closely with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council and key stakeholders, Virginia advises and collaborates with firm leadership and management to implement the firm's diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic goals and embed the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion into firm culture. This ranges from high-level development of diversity-related recruitment, development, and advancement for lawyers and administrative professionals to client collaborations that advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the profession as a whole.

Professional Highlights

Professional Activities

Law360’s 2022 Diversity and Inclusion Editorial Board

Kimmel Center Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Committee

Women Owned Law Advisory Board and Co-Chair of the Diversity Task Force

Recognition & Accomplishments

The Barristers' Association of Philadelphia, Inc.'s Champion Award, 2019

Behavioral Coaching Institute, Certified Master Coach

Recipient, National Diversity Council Special Award recognizing women leaders in Pennsylvania, October 2013

Cornell University ILR School Courses (The Law of Equal Employment Opportunity, Cornell University ILR School, 2011; Data Analysis for EEO Professionals, 2011; and Employee Complaints and Investigations, 2013)

Speaking Engagements

“Navigating the New Landscape: Addressing New Challenges to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Programs,” Legal Week, New York, February 2024

"Diversity at the Crosswords: A Symposium on Where We Are and What Happens Next," Philadelphia Diversity Law Group, January 2024

"The Legal Intelligencer Diversity Roundtable Discussion," October 2023

Board Memberships & Community Service

The Elpis Children's Foundation, Vice President and Secretary, 2023-present

AlphaCare, Board Member, 2022-2024

Kimmel Center Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Committee

Women Owned Law, Advisory Board Member and Co-Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, 2017-2021

Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse, Board of Directors, 2012-2021

Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, 2008-2014


"One Firm's Journey toward Equity Continues: Expanding Pathways and Removing Barries," The Legal Intelligencer, October 2023

Co-author, "10 Characteristics of Inclusive Leadership, American Bar Association, Business Law Section," Business Law Today, April 21, 2020

"Sponsorship Programs As A Talent Investment," The Practical Lawyer, February, 2020



University of Illinois Chicago School of Law (J.D. 1999)

Wilberforce University (B.A., cum laude, 1994)


Supreme Court of Wisconsin

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin