WILEF Awards Gold Certification Standard to Shook For Eighth Consecutive Year

For the eighth consecutive year, Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P has been awarded the 2018 Gold Standard Certification from the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF). The certification measures the progress law firms are making with integrating women into leadership roles; Shook is one of only two firms to meet all the criteria requirements since the award’s inception in 2011.

“We live and breathe it every day in the culture we create which allows us to effectively collaborate to best serve our clients,” said Shook Chair Madeleine McDonough. “It’s an honor to be recognized for being at the forefront of diversity and inclusion.” 

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, and Shook met all of them:

  • 20 percent of U.S. equity partners, or, alternatively, one-third of attorneys who became U.S. equity partners within the previous 12 months, are women;
  • 15 percent of the heads of the firm and its U.S. branch office heads combined are women;
  • 20 percent of the members of the firm’s primary governance committee are women;
  • 20 percent of the members of the committee that determines equity partner compensation are women;
  • 25 percent of U.S. practice group leaders/department heads are women;
  • 15 percent of the top half of U.S. equity partners in terms of compensation are women; and
  • 7 percent of U.S. women equity partners are women of color and/or 3.5 percent of them are LGBT.

Among Shook's other awards or recognitions for diversity and inclusion achievements are:

  • The Coca-Cola Company, 2017 General Counsel Diversity Advancement Award. The Coca Cola Company also awarded Shook its “Living the Values” award three times, twice in the last five years.
  • Human Rights Campaign, Corporate Equality Index, a perfect score of 100 percent for ten consecutive years.
  • Working Mother Magazine, “50 Best Law Firms for Women” for several years.
  • Vault, “2019 Best Law Firms for Overall Diversity” and ranked in the Top 10 firms for diversity for minorities, diversity for women, and diversity for LGBT employees.
  • Law360’s Glass Ceiling Report ranked Shook in the top three “Best Law Firms for Women” and a “Ceiling Smasher” for women equity partnership representation. (2018)

WILEF is an organization for women in 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.