NALP Directory of Legal Employers

Directory Year: 2020

Ballard Spahr LLP - Minneapolis, Minnesota

Diversity & Inclusion

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Diversity Chair

Diversity Chair Prefix Chief Diversity Officer
Diversity Chair First Name Virginia
Diversity Chair Last Name Essandoh

Diversity Contact Information

Diversity Contact Prefix Chief Diversity Officer
Diversity Contact First Name Virginia
Diversity Contact Last Name Essandoh
Link to your organization's diversity website

Recruitment methods

Which of the following methods do you use to increase the presence and retention of under-represented groups? (Check all that apply) Diversity job fairs
Outreach to law student groups
Formal mentoring efforts
Recruit at schools with large minority populations
Bar-sponsored programs
Firm diversity committee
Recruit at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)

1L Resume Writing and Interview Skills Workshops; Legal Career Development Pipeline Project; 1L Diversity Fellowship Programs

Non-discrimination policy The Firm is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity (“EEO”). 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, gender, age, national origin, handicap or disability, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, ancestry, veteran status or any other category protected by applicable law. This policy covers recruitment, hiring, compensation, benefits, promotion, demotion, layoff, termination, work environment and all other terms and conditions of employment.

Diversity fellowships or scholarships

Does your organization or office sponsor/offer a Diversity Fellowship or Scholarship? Yes
If yes, is the program open to 1L
Please provide a brief description of the program Ballard Spahr is excited to offer 1L Diversity Fellowship opportunities in several office locations each year. Through an application process, we award fellowships to 1L students to participate in our summer program.

For more information, visit

Affinity group information

Does your organization or office have affinity groups? Yes
If yes, please describe your affinity groups below

Our business resource groups comprise lawyers with shared cultural, experiential, or job-related interests, experiences, or backgrounds. Business resource groups support retention through informal mentoring, internal networking, business development support, and the firm’s recruiting. Their goals and activities are carefully planned and linked to the firm’s business goals. The groups are open to all Ballard Spahr lawyers interested in supporting the firm’s diversity initiatives.

Asian American Business Resource Group (AABRG)

The Asian American Business Resource Group seeks to cultivate a welcoming and supportive environment for all AABRG members and create opportunities through various activities and events during the year to enable AABRG members to (i) effectively network with internal and external clients, (ii) support each other in both professional development and business development initiatives, and (iii) create an environment that would foster mentorship within the group.


Ballard Spahr Work-Life Integration Group

This group brings together lawyers from across the firm—partners and non-partner lawyers, men and women, those working full-time and reduced hours—who provide mutual resources and support for one another around the issue of work-life balance. The group supports the Back to Business initiative, which provides outreach to all lawyers returning from leave.


Ballard Women

Ballard Women facilitates internal and external networking as well as professional development activities that support the success and advancement of female lawyers and clients. Through programming, mentoring and sponsorship, the group works to improve the professional experience and bolster the trajectory of women lawyers and to advance them into key participation and leadership roles, both inside and outside the firm. The group is committed to helping the firm develop and retain the next generation of successful female lawyers and law firm leaders.


Black Lawyers Group

The Black Lawyers Group seeks to support the recruitment, retention, development and advancement of Black lawyers across Ballard Spahr, in furtherance of the Firm’s long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion. The group is committed to improving the professional experience of Black lawyers at the Firm through fellowship, networking, and programming in both formal and informal settings. The group is also dedicated to creating and sustaining a pipeline of Black law students who aspire to work at Ballard, as well as maintaining and strengthening bonds with Ballard’s Black alumni. The group is open to all Ballard lawyers and welcomes all who share its mission.


Diverse Lawyers Group

The Diverse Lawyers Group seeks to promote and support the professional and business development of its diverse lawyers both within the firm and in the broader legal community. The group advocates for increased recruitment, integration, mentorship, retention, and advancement of the firm's diverse lawyers. It also promotes the inclusion of diverse perspectives throughout the firm.


Equality Ballard: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Lawyers and Friends

Equality Ballard provides support and internal networking to those who have self-identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer. The group facilitates business and professional development opportunities as well as outreach to the LGBTQ community. The group promotes and furthers the recruiting initiatives of the firm's Diversity and Inclusion Council and supports education on relevant policies and issues. Equality Ballard also supports the efforts of its members to have a positive impact on the communities where they live and work through pro bono outreach and civic and philanthropic engagement.