For the ninth year in a row, Shook, Hardy & Bacon has received the Gold Standard Certification from the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF). WILEF grants the certification to major law firms that meet objective criteria for the number of women equity partners, the number in firm leadership positions, and among the ranks of the most highly compensated partners. Shook is one of only 11 firms worldwide that has received Gold Standard Certification every year since WILEF began the award in 2011.
“Although the number of US firms increased by three from this time last year, given baby boomers retiring and law firms making fewer equity partners, I think it is becoming more difficult to attain the Gold Standard,” said WILEF Global Chair Elizabeth Tursi in a press release. According to the press release, eight firms who met the standard last year did not receive certification in the initial round of consideration that ended June 3, 2019, although three firms made the list for the first time.
The criteria, which changed for 2019 recipients, are that:
- Women are 20% of equity partners; or
- 33% of attorneys becoming equity partners in the last 12 months were women;
- 15% of firm and U.S. branch office heads are women;
- 20% of the firm’s primary governance committee are women
- 20% of the firm’s compensation committee (or its equivalent) are women;
- 15% of the top half of the firm’s equity partners, in terms of compensation, are women;
- 7% of women equity partners are women of color, or 3.5% of women equity partners are LGBTQ.
Earlier this month, Law360 named Shook one of “The Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys” in its annual “Glass Ceiling” report. The publication also named Shook a “Ceiling Smasher” in recognition of the number of the firm’s women equity partners.