Women attorneys at Ballard Spahr are high achievers whose accomplishments run the gamut from government and judicial appointments to community service recognition. We are proud to highlight their recent achievements.

Katayun I. Jaffari Joins Support Center for Child Advocates Leadership Council

Katayun I. Jaffari, a partner at Ballard Spahr known for her work in securities, corporate governance, capital raising, and mergers and acquisitions, has joined the Support Center for Child Advocates Leadership Council.

Amy McClain Authors Book on Rental Assistance Demonstration Program

Amy M. McClain, a partner in Ballard Spahr’s Real Estate Department, has written the Beginner’s Guide to Public Housing Conversion under RAD. The book provides an overview of the Rental Assistance Demonstration program’s current rules and procedures as they relate to the conversion of public housing units to Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments contracts.

Teri Guarnaccia Elected to Board of National Association of Bond Lawyers

Teri M. Guarnaccia, a public finance partner in Ballard Spahr’s Baltimore office, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Bond Lawyers.

Leslie John Named among Top Women in Litigation

Ballard Spahr partner Leslie E. John is featured in the 2017 edition of Top 250 Women in Litigation, published by Benchmark Litigation, a legal guide that evaluates leading law firms and attorneys based on peer and client interviews.

Virginia Essandoh Elected to College of Law Practice Management

Ballard Spahr Chief Diversity Officer Virginia G. Essandoh has been named a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management, a nonprofit organization for legal professionals.

Ballard Spahr’s Amy McClain Named One of Maryland’s Top 100 Women

Amy M. McClain, a partner in the Real Estate Department at Ballard Spahr, has been named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women by The Daily Record. The annual Maryland’s Top 100 Women award recognizes the accomplishments of women who have achieved professional success and are making a difference through their leadership, community service, and mentoring.

Ballard Spahr's Leslie John Recognized by Philadelphia Bar Association for Promoting Diversity in the Legal Profession

Leslie E. John, a member and former Co-Chair of Ballard Spahr’s Diversity Council, has been named the recipient of the Albert S. Dandridge, III Business Law Section Diversity Award. The newly established award, presented by the Business Law Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association, is given annually to an individual or organization that has made a substantial contribution to diversity in the Philadelphia area.

Ballard Spahr's Dee Spagnuolo Named 'Lawyer on the Fast Track'

Dee Spagnuolo, a partner in Ballard Spahr’s Litigation Department, has been honored as one of The Legal Intelligencer’s “Lawyers on the Fast Track.” Ms. Spagnuolo is one of 38 attorneys selected by an impartial eight-person judging panel. The award recognizes outstanding young attorneys who exhibit professional excellence and an outstanding commitment to community service and the development of the legal profession.

Ballard Spahr Partner Hara Jacobs Named Among Top 250 Women in IP

Hara K. Jacobs, an intellectual property litigator at Ballard Spahr in Philadelphia, has been named to IP Stars – Top 250 Women in IP, a new publication from Managing Intellectual Property magazine that identifies the leading female IP attorneys in the United States. Attorneys were selected based on more than 1,000 interviews and surveys by partners and law firms nationwide.

Ballard Spahr Attorneys Mary Jo George, Nicole Evans Honored as Women of Achievement in Commercial Real Estate

Ballard Spahr real estate partners Mary Jo George and Nicole C. Evans have been honored by Real Estate Forum magazine in recognition of their achievements in helping to shape the commercial real estate industry. The magazine's July/August 2013 issue will profile the honorees as part of its "Women of Influence" list.

Marjorie Peerce Appointed Co-Chair of National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Sentencing Committee

Marjorie J. Peerce, a white collar defense litigator, has been appointed co-chair of the Sentencing Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, a professional bar association with more than 10,000 members. The NACDL's sentencing committee examines sentencing policies and practices and focuses on revisions to the federal sentencing guidelines.

Katayun Jaffari Elected to Maternity Care Coalition Board

Katayun I. Jaffari, a partner in Ballard Spahr’s Business and Finance Department, has been elected to the board of Maternity Care Coalition (MCC), a nonprofit dedicated to improving the health of mothers and children. MCC's programs include the MOMobile, which provides community-based home visits to pregnant women, new parents, and their families, and Cribs for Kids, which provides a crib to families who cannot afford one. It is also Pennsylvania’s largest Early Head Start provider.

Ballard Spahr Partner Emilie Ninan Receives DuPont MCN Torchbearer Award

Emilie R. Ninan, Managing Partner of the Delaware office and the partner responsible for the public finance practice in that state, has received the inaugural Hinton J. Lucas, Jr., Torchbearer Award at the 2013 DuPont Minority Counsel Network Conference, for promoting the network's initiatives that create opportunities for diverse attorneys.

Teri Guarnaccia Named to Top 100 Women List

Ballard Spahr Public Finance Partner Teri M. Guarnaccia has been named to Maryland’s Top 100 Women by The Daily Record. This is Ms. Guarnaccia’s third appearance on the list, making her a member of the “Circle of Excellence.”

Anna Mahaney Recognized as a Leader in Mortgage Banking and in Maryland

Anna Mahaney, a Baltimore-based Real Estate partner, was elected as a fellow of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys and named one of Maryland's Leading Women by The Daily Record.

Katayun Jaffari Named a Woman of Distinction

Katayun Jaffari, a Business and Finance partner in Philadelphia, was honored as a 2017 Woman of Distinction by The Philadelphia Business Journal.

Katayun Jaffari Elected to ABA Leadership Position

Katayun Jaffari, a leader in the fields of corporate governance and securities law, was named ABA Corporate Governance Committee Vice Chair.

Ballard Spahr’s Laura Krabill Named One of The Legal Intelligencer’s Diverse Attorneys of the Year

Laura E. Krabill, a litigation partner in Ballard Spahr’s Philadelphia office and a member of the LGBT community, has been selected by The Legal Intelligencer as one of its Diverse Attorneys of the Year for 2013. The biennial award recognizes outstanding diverse attorneys from across Pennsylvania. Winners are selected by The Legal’s editorial staff on the basis of their outstanding professional achievements in the two years since the last awards were given out.

Ballard Spahr and Shannon Farmer Win International Law Office/Lexology Client Choice Awards

Ballard Spahr and Litigation partner Shannon D. Farmer have been named winners of the 2013 International Law Office/Lexology Client Choice awards. Ms. Farmer was honored in Pennsylvania for her work in employment and labor, while the firm was recognized for excellence in client care and quality of service in Utah.

Katayun Jaffari Elected to Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association Business Law Section

Ballard Spahr partner Katayun I. Jaffari has been elected to the Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association Business Law Section. The Business Law Section is one of the oldest and largest sections of the Philadelphia Bar Association. It organizes continuing legal education programs to keep members up to date on developments in the legal field and supports a community atmosphere for business attorneys.

cristina coronado named President-Elect of CREW Utah

Real estate associate Cristina Coronado was named President-Elect of CREW Utah, the Utah chapter of the Commercial Real Estate Women Network, in November 2012. Ms. Coronado will become President of the organization in 2014. She has been a member of CREW Utah since 2010 and has served on its board since 2010.

dee spagnuolo named to 'best lgbt lawyers under 40' list

Partner Dee Spagnuolo was named to the  National LGBT Bar Association's "Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40" list in July 2012. The award is given to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender legal professionals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated excellence in their field and shown a profound commitment to LGBT equality.

Ms. Spagnuolo has demonstrated her commitment to LGBT equality through her extensive pro bono work to advance LGBT civil rights, and has provided testimony in the Pennsylvania legislature in opposition to a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

EMILIE NINAN elected nasaba president

Public finance partner Emilie R. Ninan was elected President of the North American South Asian Bar Association (NASABA) in June 2012. Her term began in Philadelphia and will culminate at NASABA's 10th Anniversary Convention in San Francisco in June 2013. NASABA supports the professional development of South Asian attorneys, provides its members with a national networking forum, and serves as a resource for the South Asian community across North America.

Ms. Ninan was the founding President of the Delaware chapter of South Asian Women's Attorneys Network (SAWAN). She was also the founding President of the South Asian Bar Association of Delaware and the first female South Asian lawyer elected partner at a major law firm in Delaware.


Litigation associate Melanie J. Vartabedian is the President of Women Lawyers of Utah (WLU), which promotes the advancement of women in the legal profession and the legal system.

Ms. Vartabedian has been a WLU board member since 2007 and a member since 2004. She also chaired the organization's Committee for the Initiative on the Retention and Advancement of Women Attorneys in Law Firms, which oversaw a groundbreaking study on the industry's failure to retain female lawyers as their careers progress.


Real estate partner Lila Shapiro-Cyr was selected as Vice Chair of the Real Property Section of the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) at the organization's annual meeting in July 2010.

Ms. Shapiro-Cyr previously chaired the Legislative Liaison Committee of the Real Property Section. The Section brings together MSBA members with a mutual interest in the law relating to real property, including construction, eminent domain, foreclosure, land development, land records, leasing, and real estate financing, title, and zoning.


Real estate partner Wendi L. Kotzen was selected by her peers to join the prestigious American College of Tax Counsel (ACTC) in May 2010. Her election recognizes her excellence in tax practice and significant contribution and commitment to the legal profession.

Ms. Kotzen joins current ACTC member Wayne R. Strasbaugh, Vice Chair of the firm's tax practice.


Real estate partner Tina R. Makoulian was chosen as a fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL) in May 2010. The College comprises leaders in real estate law, selected for their legal skills and contributions to the field, as well as their high standards of ethical and professional conduct. 

Lynn Rzonca Named AS RECIPIENT OF LYNETTE NORTON AWARD; SELECTED Among Best 50 Women in Business; Named Co-Chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association's Women Mentoring Task Force; honored as woman of distinction 

In 2010, the Pennsylvania Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession honored Philadelphia office managing partner Lynn E. Rzonca with the Lynette Norton Award. The award recognizes her litigation skills and mentoring and encouragement of female lawyers.

In 2009, Ms. Rzonca was named by Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell as one of Pennsylvania's Best 50 Women in Business. The award, in its 14th year, is given by the Business Journals of Pennsylvania and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Department of Community and Economic Development. Ms. Rzonca was also chosen in 2009 to serve as co-chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession Mentoring Task Force, which, among other things, coordinates the commission's "LINK" Mentoring Program.

Also in 2009, Ms. Rzonca was named a Woman of Distinction by the Philadelphia Business Journal and the National Association of Women Business Owners. The award is given to women who are leaders in their professions and communities. Ms. Rzonca is a member of the board of directors of the Juvenile Law Center and the Pennsylvania SPCA. She is a member of the advisory board for the Children's Justice Clinic at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey School of Law-Camden, and is a volunteer with the Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and the national Wills For Heroes program, which provides free estate planning for first responders.