For Sixth Consecutive Year, WILEF Awards Shook Gold Standard Certification

Shook, Hardy & Bacon has been awarded the 2016 Gold Standard Certification from the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) for the sixth consecutive year. The Gold Standard Certification measures the progress law firms are making with integrating women into leadership roles.

In order to receive the WILEF certification, firms with 300 or more practicing lawyers in the United States must meet at least four of the following criteria:

  • Women account for at least 20 percent of equity partners, or 33 percent or more of the attorneys becoming equity partners during the past 12 months,
  • Women represent at least 15 percent of firm chairs and office managing partners,
  • Women make up at least 20 percent of the firm’s primary governance committee,
  • Women represent 20 percent or more of the firm’s compensation committee,
  • Women make up at least 25 percent of practice group leaders or department heads, and
  • Women represent at least 15 percent of the top half of the most highly compensated partners.

WILEF heightened its criteria for the 2016 evaluation. For the sixth year, Shook has met all six criteria. Shook is one of only two firms nationwide to have achieved this standard for six years.

“Shook takes pride in being a champion for diversity and inclusion, and we are honored to be recognized by WILEF,” said Shook Chair John Murphy. “This accomplishment is a result of intentional investments and leadership, and we plan to continue to work on improving diversity and inclusion.”

This year, Shook selected Madeleine McDonough as Chair-Elect. McDonough will become the first woman chair of the firm on January 1, 2017.

“This recognition is about our people and about our clients,” said Shook Director of Strategic Diversity Initiatives Kori Carew. “We will continue to focus on holistic efforts to empower our people to succeed and to equip our leaders to be their best.”

Shook will be honored at WILEF’s Gold Standard Awards Luncheon in September 2016.

The firm has recently been recognized by several organizations for its diversity and inclusion achievements: 


WILEF is the premier organization for women from large law firms and corporate law departments in the United States. The Gold Standard Certification, launched in 2011, recognizes firms with meaningful percentages of women in leadership roles, rather than the policies or practices of the firm or the overall number or percentage of women in the partnership.