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The Women in Law Empowerment Forum ("WILEF") is an organization devoted to the education of women in law firms, and furthers its goals by providing networking opportunities for women. Now in its eighth year, WILEF provides Gold Standard Certification to law firms that "successfully demonstrate that women represent a meaningful percentage of their equity partners, of their highest leadership positions, of their governance and compensation committees, and of their most highly compensated partners."
Let's see who made the cut for 2014, and what they are doing right.
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To gain WILEF Gold Standard Certification, law firms must meet four of the six following criteria:
Women account for at least 20% of equity partners or alternatively, 33% or more of the attorneys becoming equity partners during the past twelve months.
• Women represent at least 10% of firm chairs and office managing partners.
• Women make up at least 20% of the firm's primary governance committee.
• Woman represent 20% or more of the firm's compensation committee.
• Women make up at least 25% of practice group leaders or department heads.
• Women represent at least 10% of the top half of the most highly compensated partners.
Though 45 law firms received Gold Standard Certification, only seven law firms met all six criteria, says Above the Law. Here's a complete list of the firms that made the cut -- the seven law firms that met all the criteria are in bold.
Cahill Gordon & Reindel
Covington & Burling
Davis Polk & Wardwell
Davis Wright Tremaine
Epstein Becker & Green
Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner
Ford & Harrison
Fredrikson & Byron
Frost Brown Todd
Haynes & Boone
Holland & Hart
Holland & Knight
Hughes Hubbard & Reed
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton
Latham & Watkins
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips
McCarter & English
McKenna Long & Aldridge
Morrison & Foerster
Norton Rose Fulbright
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
Quarles & Brady
Shook, Hardy & Bacon
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Steptoe & Johnson
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan
So, did you firm make the cut? Are you rushing to get your resume ready to apply to one of the above named firms? Before you make the big leap try to see if there's any hope at your firm for a shift in corporate culture.
Perhaps send this list to your human resources department as a gentle nudge. If you think your firm should be on the list, there's still time to receive Gold Standard Certification in time for your firm to be recognized at the WILEF Gold Standard Awards gala luncheon on September 17, 2014 -- just have the application in by August 15, 2014.
Maybe if you gently suggest that your firm should apply, they may realize that they are lacking in certain areas and will try to change so that they too can receive Gold Standard Certification in the future.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.