Diversity + Inclusion at Ballard Spahr
Our clients are best served by innovative solutions that spring from varied viewpoints and perspectives. Ballard Spahr is committed to creating a vibrant community where the needs, perspectives, and contributions of people from all backgrounds are valued and integrated into all aspects of the firm. In addition to making us a stronger firm, a diverse and inclusive community is valuable to our clients because varied perspectives drive insightful counsel.
We believe diversity is the natural result of an inclusive environment. Our goal is to improve employee recruitment and retention among underrepresented groups and ensure full access to opportunity for all individuals to the benefit of our clients, the legal profession, and our communities. That’s more than just a good business strategy—it is the right thing to do.
CREATING DIVERSITY THROUGH RECRUITMENT
Central to Ballard Spahr’s commitment to improving diversity is the firm’s recruiting effort. We aim not only to attract talented diverse attorneys to our offices across the country, but also to improve diversity within the legal profession.
We regularly benchmark our firm’s demographics against national surveys to identify areas where we must pay particular attention. While we aren’t focused on chasing numbers, we do allow the numbers to serve as guideposts for where attention is needed. We are proud to exceed national benchmarks for women partners, minority partners, and women minority partners.
We increase awareness of our firm and support the pipeline of law students entering the profession by:
- Partnering with affinity-based law student organizations across the country
- Inviting law students to our offices and to local events we sponsor
- Making our internal and external recruiters aware that we are looking for diverse candidate slates
- Encouraging our affinity groups share open lateral positions within their networks and informing local and national affinity associations about open lateral positions
- Participating in job fairs that attract diverse law students
MAINTAINING DIVERSITY THROUGH INCLUSIVENESS
Focusing on inclusiveness—the effective integration, development, and engagement of all lawyers—is paramount to maintaining diversity throughout the firm. Such an atmosphere depends on the one-on-one relationships and day-to-day interactions within the firm.
On a practical level, this means:
- Creating diverse client teams
- Making sure our lateral hires make a smooth transition into the firm
- Ensuring our work assignment process fosters opportunity and development
- Providing support for networking and business development efforts of our affinity groups
- Examining the pipeline for advancement and succession in law firm leadership
We also strive to ensure that our ranks represent diversity across the firm. When perspectives are missing, we make an effort to fill the void. In everything we do, our message is that everyone’s contribution to a diverse and inclusive environment is important.
Our affinity groups comprise lawyers with shared cultural, experiential, or job-related interests, experiences, or backgrounds. Affinity groups support retention through informal mentoring, internal networking, business development support, and the firm’s recruiting. The groups are open to all Ballard Spahr lawyers interested in supporting the firm’s diversity initiatives.
partnering with our clients and the community
Diversity and inclusion reaches outside the walls of Ballard Spahr. One way this occurs is through our partnerships with clients. We work jointly with many of our clients to support and diversity and inclusion in the firm and in the profession. Examples include informal networking through affinity groups, advising each other and sharing best practices, collaborating in recruiting law students and working together to create diverse teams.
We also support organizations that advance diversity and inclusion as we build the pipeline of those interested in a career in law. Whether it is lawyers and staff reading with second-graders as part of the Philadelphia Reads program, our groundbreaking sponsorship of Constitution High School for American Studies, our participation in diversity fellowship programs, or our financial and mentoring support for diverse law students, we are contributing to a pipeline of students introduced to the legal profession.
In addition, our attorneys are participants, speakers, and leaders in affinity bar associations across the country. Our newsletter, Spectrum, keeps clients, friends, and internal lawyers abreast of our efforts in diversity and inclusion.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION COUNCIL
Ballard Spahr’s Diversity and Inclusion Council works closely with the Chief Diversity Officer to develop, promote, and implement key initiatives to guide the firm toward its diversity and inclusion goals and to collaborate with clients on diversity and inclusion issues of mutual interest.
Diversity and Inclusion Team
Ballard Spahr's Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Team is dedicated to advising private companies, public companies, financial institutions, universities, and colleges on their internal and external diversity and inclusion policies and practices, including advising on compliance with Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Act. The team regularly performs assessments, consults on existing programs, develops policies, conducts training, and implements plans. Our D&I Team works closely with lawyers in the firm’s securities, labor and employment, and compliance practices and brings to clients the collective experience of professionals with a wide range of skill and experience. The team also conducts internal investigations and advises on legal issues related to discrimination, reverse discrimination, and affirmative action.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
Ballard Spahr is making strides to improve its diversity and has received recognition as a result.
SUPPLIER DIVERSITY STATEMENT
Ballard Spahr seeks to be inclusive in our selection and use of local counsel, legal service providers, and vendors. We actively seek to do businesses with firms owned by women, minorities, members of the LGBT community, veterans, and people with disabilities.
It is the policy of Ballard Spahr to provide equal employment opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, age, national origin, handicap or disability, citizenship, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, transgender status, sex stereotyping, genetic information, ancestry, veteran status or any other category protected by applicable law.