42 firms reach 'gold standard' for women in leadership

June 20, 2013 Forty-two law firms have been awarded the ‘gold-standard’ by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum, which looked at which US law firms of 200+ lawyers offer women lawyers the most power and highest pay.

The WILEF certification puts an emphasis on the leadership roles achieved by female equity partners, attributing less significance to the policies or practices of the firm or the overall number or percentage of women in the partnership.

To obtain the gold standard, firms needed to satisfy four or more of the following criteria:
- Women must account for at least 20 percent of equity partners or, alternatively, 25 percent or more of the attorneys becoming equity partners during the past twelve months;
- Women must represent at least 10 percent of firm chairs and office managing partners;
- Women must make up at least 20 percent of the firm’s primary governance committee.
- Women must represent 20 percent or more of the firm’s compensation committee.
- Women must make up at least 25 percent of practice group leaders or department heads.
- Women must represent at least 10 percent of the top half of the most highly compensated partners.

Only six firms met all six criteria: FordHarrison, Fredrikson & Byron, Holland & Hart, Littler Mendelson, Reed Smith, Shook Hardy & Bacon.

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