Best Law Firms for Women Announced
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The Women in Law Empowerment Forum has given 50 law firms a ‘Gold Standard’ award for giving women positions of leadership. In 2011, just 32 law firms were on the list. The criteria for the list includes the following: law firms must employ 100 or more lawyers and must meet at least three of six criteria. Some of the criteria are: women have to account for 20 percent of equity partners and women must represent 10 percent of the top half of the highest compensated partners at the firm.

According to the Women in Law Empowerment Forum website, the six criteria for law firms are as follows:


Women account for at least 20% of equity partners. Women represent at least 10% of firm chairs and office managing partners. Women make up at least 20% of the firm’s primary governance committee. Woman represent 20% or more of the firm’s compensation committee. Women make up at least 25% of practice group leaders or department heads. Women represent at least 10% of the top half of the most highly compensated partners.

The group is thinking about making it much more difficult for the firms to make the list, according to Ida Abbott, the head of the certification committee for the group. One way to make it more difficult is to require that all firms meet the 20 percent women-equity-partner requirement. “We don’t want to be drastic, but we do want to move the needle,” Abbott said. Just 40 percent of the firms on the list this year met the 20 percent requirement. The full list of firms includes the following:

Ballard Spahr

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Covington & Burling

Crowell & Moring

Davis Polk & Wardwell

Dorsey & Whitney

Epstein Becker & Green

Faegre Baker Daniels

Farella Braun + Martel

Fennemore Craig

Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner

Foley & Lardner

Ford & Harrison

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson

Frost Brown Todd

Fulbright & Jaworski

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

Godfrey & Kahn

Goodwin Procter

Hanson Bridgett

Haynes and Boone

Hughes Hubbard & Reed

Holland & Knight

K&L Gates

Latham & Watkins

Lindquist & Vennum

Littler Mendelson

Locke Lord

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips

McCarter & English

Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo

Morrison & Foerster

Nixon Peabody

Paul Hastings

Pepper Hamilton

Perkins Coie

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

Quarles & Brady

Reed Smith

Ropes & Gray


Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton

Shook, Hardy & Bacon

Sidley Austin

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

Stinson Morrison Hecker

Stoel Rives

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan

Thompson Hine

Wilmer Cuter Pickering Hale and Dorr



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