WILEF Names Shook a Top Firm for Women in Leadership for 12th Consecutive Year

The Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) reports that Shook has once again met the criteria for certification as a Gold Standard Firm for women lawyers in leadership roles and most highly compensated women partners. Shook is one of only five firms to meet all six criteria for a dozen years—since the inception of the Gold Standard certification. 

To meet the 2022 U.S. Gold Standard Certification, firms of 300 or more attorneys were required to satisfy the following—


  • 25% of equity partners or, alternatively, 40% of the attorneys becoming equity partners during the past twelve months are women
  • 10% of women equity partners are women of color or 4% of women equity partners are LGBTQ+

At least two of the following five:

  • 20% of firm and U.S. branch office heads are women
  • 25% of the firm’s primary governance committee are women
  • 25% of the firm’s compensation committee or its equivalent are women
  • 20% of the top half of the firm’s equity partners in terms of compensation are women

This is the second national accolade Shook has earned recently for the firm’s commitment to championing female lawyers—last month Seramount, formerly known as Working Mother magazine, selected Shook among its list of “Best Law Firms for Women” in 2022 and included the firm in its Hall of Fame. This recognition, as with the WILEF certification, is Shook’s 12th consecutive time to be selected for the advocacy of women lawyers, and acknowledged the firm’s family-friendly benefits and recruiting and retaining efforts.

Shook is led by Madeleine McDonough who is serving her second term as chair. McDonough is the recipient of the National Association of Women Lawyers Leadership Award and was listed in the Top 50 Litigation Trailblazers & Pioneers by The National Law Journal.