Ballard Spahr has been awarded Gold Standard Certification by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) for the eighth straight year. The firm is among an elite group of law firms that has attained 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.

"Our experience has shown that attorneys with diverse viewpoints and perspectives offer invaluable insights that help us best serve our clients," said Melanie J. Vartabedian, co-leader of the firm's Ballard Women affinity group. "We're proud that WILEF has continued to acknowledge our efforts to foster a more diverse, inclusive, and vibrant workforce."

With 15 offices across the country, Ballard Spahr has a longstanding commitment to advancing women in the workplace. Last year, it was named among the top 50 law firms for women lawyers in the National Law Journal's Female Scorecard, which ranks the nation's largest law firms according to their percentages of women attorneys. With women comprising 25.9 percent of its equity partners, the firm is above the national average for firms reporting data to The National Association for Law Placement (NALP). Ballard Spahr also supports its female lawyers through the Ballard Women affinity group, which hosts events for women clients and prospective clients, supports a mentoring program for younger women lawyers, and sponsors professional development programming.

"This recognition confirms what I've always known about the firm: Ballard Spahr is a great place for women lawyers to work, thrive, and advance," said Lea A. Phillips, a litigation associate in the firm's Phoenix office and co-leader of Ballard Women.