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 2018 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, of their most highly compensated partners and that there be meaningful diversity among their women partners. For 2018 Gold Standard Certification, a meaningful percentage means that the firm satisfies 

both the mandatory criterion that:

  • 20% of equity partners or, alternatively, 33% or more of the attorneys becoming equity partners during the past twelve months are women

and at least three of the following five criteria:

  • 15% of firm and U.S. branch office heads are women equity partners
  • 20% of the firm’s governance committee are women equity partners
  • 20% of the firm’s compensation committee or its equivalent are women equity partners
  • 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 LGBT [NEW]

The WILEF 2018 Gold Standard Certification application was available on Thursday, March 1, 2018.  Requests for the application and questions should be made to WILEF’s Co-Founder and Global Chair, Elizabeth Anne “Betiayn” Tursi via email. Applications must be received on or before June 1, 2018 for inclusion in the initial list of Gold Standard Firms to be published in mid-June, 2018 (no extensions will be granted) or by December 14, 2018 for 2018 Gold Standard Certification.