The Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) has given WilmerHale the Gold Standard Award for its continued dedication to women in leadership roles and commitment to equal compensation. WILEF, a professional networking and education organization, is focused on helping women achieve their career goals inside large law firms and corporate legal departments.
According to WILEF's press release announcing the Gold Standard winners, certification is awarded to firms that meet at least four of the following seven criteria:
- 20 percent of US equity partners or, alternatively, one-third of attorneys who became US equity partners within the previous 12 months are women
- 15 percent of the heads of the firm and its US 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 US practice group leaders/department heads are women
- 15 percent of the top half of US equity partners in terms of compensation are women
- 7 percent of US women equity partners are women of color and/or 3.5 percent are LGBT
WilmerHale has long been dedicated to recruiting top female attorneys and helping them rise through the ranks of the firm. The firm's Guiding Principles encourage diversity and inclusion, with leadership positions that encompass women and minority partners across 15 departments and the firm's Management Committee.
Since 2012, Susan Murley has led the firm as co-managing partner. Under her leadership the firm has received numerous female leadership awards. Most recently, Mindy Sooter was featured in Law Week Colorado's 2017 Top Women Attorneys list; Molly Boast and Heather Tewksbury were named to Global Competition Review's list of top Women in Antitrust 2016; the firm landed on Law360's 100 Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys list and has been named one of the 50 Best Law Firms for Women by Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers. Additionally, The Boston Globe recently recognized WilmerHale among its list of Top 20 Women-Led Businesses. The rankings were based on revenue or operating budget and other variables, including the number of full-time employees in the state, workplace and management diversity, and innovative projects.
This Gold Standard Award announcement follows on the heels of the news earlier this month that WilmerHale has partnered with Diversity Lab and will pilot the Mansfield Rule, a measurement of whether law firms have affirmatively considered women and attorneys of color for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, and lateral positions. Law firms that successfully pilot the Mansfield Rule over the next year will be designated “Mansfield Certified” and have the opportunity to send their recently promoted diverse partners to a two-day Client Forum in late 2018, to build relationships with and learn from influential in-house counsel.