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Women in the Law

32 Law Firms Certified for Empowering Women

Posted Jun 15, 2011 8:26 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Thirty-two law firms have received a “Gold Standard Certification” for hiring women equity partners and promoting them to leadership positions.

The Women in Law Empowerment Forum certified law firms with more than 100 lawyers that met three of six criteria for percentages of equity partners and leaders, the National Law Journal reports. Three firms met all six criteria, but the forum’s chairwoman, Elizabeth Anne "Betiayn" Tursi, declined to identify them in an interview with the NLJ.

Tursi said only women who are equity partners are counted in the statistics, and that may be the reason why so few law firms made the list. Women make up a disproportionate number of nonequity partners at many law firms, she said.

The six criteria are: Women have to account for at least 20 per cent of equity partners, the firm’s primary governance committee and the compensation committee; they have to represent at least 10 percent of firm chairs and office managing partners, at least 25 percent of practice group leaders or department heads, and at least 10 percent of the top half of the most highly compensated partners.

The 32 law firms are listed in the NLJ story. The forum continues to accept applications for certification.

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