Jon M. Laria

Tel 410.528.5506
Fax 410.528.5650

Jon M. Laria is a member of Ballard Spahr's Elected Board, Managing Partner of the firm's Baltimore office, and a member of the firm's Diversity and Inclusion Council. He represents owners, developers, investors, and lenders in all types of commercial real estate transactions, including development, finance, acquisition, and leasing. Jon also has an active land use and zoning practice and has provided counsel for some of Baltimore's most prominent development projects. Before becoming an attorney, he was employed by a major Baltimore-based developer, where he engaged in all aspects of commercial real estate transactions.

Jon was the founding Chair of the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission, the successor organization to the State's Task Force on the Future for Growth and Development, which Jon also chaired. Created and enacted by the Maryland General Assembly, the Commission is charged with assessing and advising on the progress of state, regional, and local planning in achieving Maryland's economic growth, resource protection, and planning policy. In addition, Jon served as Vice Chair of the Maryland Task Force on Sustainable Growth and Wastewater Disposal, which recommended significant changes to the use of septic systems throughout the state that were enacted by the legislature.

Jon also served as a member of the Maryland Economic Development and Business Climate Commission, a joint commission appointed by the Maryland House Speaker and Senate President to examine the State's current economic development structure and incentive programs, and to make recommendations to keep Maryland competitive in economic and private sector growth and prosperity.

Jon co-chaired the Housing and Community Development Transition Team for former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and served on the governor's Transition Steering Committee.

In Baltimore, Jon chairs the Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Commission, charged by the mayor with promoting bicycling as a safe and convenient form of transportation and recreation, and coordinating City agency implementation of the City's Bicycle Master Plan. He previously served on the mayor's Transportation Transition Committee. Jon also co-chaired the Mayor's Safe Art Space Task Force, charged with recommending to the mayor ways to develop and sustain spaces that protect the safety of artists and patrons while meeting the logistical and technical needs of artists and audiences. Jon was appointed by the Baltimore City Health Commissioner to the Task Force on Drug Treatment Access and Neighborhood Relations, whose purpose was to facilitate the siting of necessary treatment facilities without causing undue burdens on local communities. He previously served as a mayoral appointee on Baltimore's Tax Policy Task Force and on the group that developed the City's Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy.

Jon is the Chair of the Baltimore City Chapter of the Maryland Building Industry Association (MBIA), a trade organization with more than 1,300 member firms. He is a founder of the Baltimore Development Workgroup, an affinity group of development professionals who work on real estate development issues and business climate in the City of Baltimore, and co-chaired the Partnership for Building Reuse, a joint project of the Urban Land Institute and the National Trust for Historic Preservation to maximize the productive re-use of existing buildings.

Jon serves as an officer or member of many civic boards and organizations, including the Greater Baltimore Committee, a pre-eminent regional business organization, and Healthy Neighborhoods, Inc., of which is he is vice-chair. He previously served as president of Live Baltimore, a nonprofit whose principal mission is the attraction of residents to Baltimore.

Pro Bono Experience

As part of Ballard Spahr's pro bono program, Jon has served as counsel to Star-Spangled 200, Inc., the nonprofit organization responsible for supporting Maryland's celebration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, and Light City, Baltimore's international festival of light and innovation. He has also led the firm's pro bono commitment to numerous community development and financing transactions throughout the City.

Judicial Clerkships

Hon. Howard S. Chasanow, Maryland Court of Appeals, 1992-1993

Professional Activities

Maryland Building Industry Association (MBIA), Chair of the Baltimore City Chapter 

American Bar Association

District of Columbia Bar Association

Maryland Bar Association

Bar Association of Baltimore City

Urban Land Institute, full member 

International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) 

Johns Hopkins University, past faculty member, Master's in Real Estate program

Maryland's continuing legal education program, past instructor, "Advanced Real Estate Transactions"

Ballard Spahr's Diversity and Inclusion Council

Recognition & Accomplishments

Chambers USA, real estate: land use law (Maryland), 2006-2020

The Best Lawyers in America, real estate law, land use and zoning law, 2007-2021; "Lawyer of the Year," Land Use and Zoning Law (Baltimore), 2012, 2020

The Legal 500 US, real estate and construction - real estate, 2017

Recipient of The Daily Record's 2011 Leadership in Law award, recognizing members of the legal community who have devoted time and energy to bettering the profession and their communities, and have played an important role in mentoring future professional and community leaders

Named one of 2009's "Smart Lawyers" by SmartCEO magazine, an honor based on leadership, exemplary professional success and engagement, and community involvement

Selected for Baltimore's "40 Under 40," Baltimore Business Journal

Speaking Engagements

Participant in numerous panels and programs related to real estate law, land use and development, and the real estate industry in general

Community Memberships

Baltimore City Historical Society

Beth Am Synagogue

Friends of Olmstead Parks

Greater Baltimore Committee's Leadership program, past participant

Maryland Historical Society

Board Memberships

Baltimore Jewish Council, past President

Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC)

Healthy Neighborhoods, Inc., Vice Chair

Johns Hopkins University, past Trustee

Johns Hopkins Alumni Association, Baltimore, past President

Live Baltimore, past President

Public Policy Advisory Board of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, member and past Chair

ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, Regional Investment Committee, past Chair

University of Maryland School of Law (J.D. 1992, with honors)
Articles Editor, Maryland Law Review

Johns Hopkins University (B.A. 1985)

District of Columbia