WILEF Certification emphasizes the leadership roles achieved by equity women partners, rather than the policies or practices of the firm or the overall number or percentage of women in the partnership. Law firms with 300 or more practicing lawyers in the United States are eligible for the 2015 WILEF Gold Standard Certification if they 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. For 2015 WILEF Certification, a meaningful percentage means that the number of women equity partners satisfies four or more of the 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.
The WILEF 2015 Gold Standard Certification application will be available on March 3, 2015. Requests for the application and questions should be made to WILEF’s Co-Founder and Global Chair, Elizabeth Anne “Betiayn” Tursi via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications must be received on or before June 1, 2015 for inclusion in the initial list of Gold Standard Firms to be published in mid-June, 2015 (no extensions will be granted), by August 3, 2015 for inclusion in the WILEF Gold Standard Awards gala luncheon on September 10, 2015, or by December 1, 2015 for 2015 Gold Standard Certification.
A sampling of press relating to the WILEF 2015 Gold Standard announcement:
2015 Gold Standard Firms
(as of August 3, 2015)
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz*****
Davis Polk & Wardwell**
Davis Wright Tremaine*
DLA Piper (US)**
Dorsey & Whitney*****
Faegre Baker Daniels*****
Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner*
Haynes & Boone*
Holland & Hart&&&
Holland & Knight*
Hughes Hubbard & Reed*
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton**
Latham & Watkins*
Lathrop & Gage*****
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips*
McCarter & English*
McKenna Long & Aldridge***
Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo****
Morgan Lewis & Bockius*****
Morrison & Foerster*
Norton Rose Fulbright*
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe***
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart
Paul Hastings* (met 4 criteria in 2015)
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison*****
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman*
Quarles & Brady*
Shearman & Sterling*****
Shook Hardy & Bacon&
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett**
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom*
Steptoe & Johnson LLP****
Stinson Leonard Street*
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan**
Firms in bold met all six criteria in 2015
*five-peat recertified firm
*** three-peat recertified
& five-peat recertified in all six criteria
&& four-peat certified in all six criteria
&&& three-peat certified in all six criteria
&&&& recertified in all six criteria