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Our Commitment to Diversity

K&L Gates Earns Gold Standard Certification From Women in Law Empowerment Forum for Eleventh Year

29 June 2023

Dallas – Global law firm K&L Gates LLP has been awarded a United States Gold Standard Certification by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) for an eleventh time, recognizing the high levels of success by the firm’s women as partners and leaders.

WILEF, a premier organization for women in law, grants Gold Standard Certifications to major firms that meet objective criteria representing the attainment of a firm’s women lawyers, including the number of women equity partners, number of women in firm leadership positions, and number of women among a firm’s most highly compensated partners.

For 2023 US Gold Standard Certification, firms were required to show that 25% of equity partners or, alternatively, 40% of the attorneys becoming equity partners during the past 12 months, were women, and that 10% of women equity partners are women of color or 4% of women equity partners are LGBTQ. In addition, firms must have met at least two of four other criteria, including maintaining specific percentages of women as firm and US branch office heads, primary governance or compensation committee members, or in the top half of equity partners in terms of compensation.

Cindy Ohlenforst, a Dallas tax partner and chair of K&L Gates’ global Women in the Profession committee, remarked: “We are extremely proud to be one of only 28 US law firms to receive Gold Standard Certification this year. K&L Gates’ ability to again meet WILEF Gold Certification standards speaks volumes to our emphasis on the retention and promotion of the many talented women leaders at the firm.”

K&L Gates’ firmwide Women in the Profession Committee works to identify and promote ways for women lawyers to advance their careers, to promote women as leaders and role models, and to enhance the sense of community among women professionals across our global platform.

Founded in 2007, WILEF is dedicated to women from the largest law firms and corporate law departments in the United States. It is one of numerous diversity-related programs in which K&L Gates serves as a sponsor or participant. Internally, these include the firm’s Conversations About Race speaker series focusing on the lingering effects of inequality and systemic racism in society; an equal justice pro bono effort to provide pro bono assistance in areas of particular need, such as voting rights, criminal justice reform, and the rights of indigenous peoples; a leadership program to help the firm’s women partners advance; an expanding K&L Gates: The Power of Partnership program with clients that offers first-year law school students the unique opportunity to experience legal work in both firm and in-house client settings; a firmwide mentoring program for diverse attorneys; and a Pathway to Success business training program with Ms. JD to aid the firm’s women associates in building their careers.

Among external organizations the firm supports are the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the National Bar Association (NBA), the National LGBTQ+ Bar Association, and Diversity Council Australia.

To read more about K&L Gates’ commitment and approach to diversity and inclusion, please visit the firm’s website.  

K&L Gates is a fully integrated global law firm with lawyers located across five continents. The firm represents leading multinational corporations, growth and middle-market companies, capital markets participants and entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and individuals.

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