K&L Gates Receives Ninth WILEF U.S. Gold Standard Certification
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 a ninth time, recognizing the high levels of success by the firm’s women as partners and leaders. K&L Gates is one of only 15 Am Law 100 firms to meet all six criteria for Gold Certification this year, with only five other Am Law 100 firms also having received the certification for nine years or more.
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 female lawyers, including the number of female equity partners, number of women in firm leadership positions, and number of women among a firm’s most highly compensated partners. For 2020 Gold Standard Certification, firms were required to show that 20 percent of equity partners or, alternatively, one-third of the attorneys becoming equity partners during the past 12 months, were women, in addition to meeting at least three of the following five other criteria: 15 percent of the firm and U.S. branch office heads are women; 20 percent of the firm’s primary governance committee are women; 20 percent of the firm’s compensation committee or its equivalent are women; 15 percent of the top half of the firm’s equity partners in terms of compensation are women; and seven percent of women equity partners are women of color or four percent of women equity partners are LGBT. Fewer than 50 law firms overall received U.S. Gold Certification this year, with less than half of those firms meeting all six of the program’s criteria.
“K&L Gates’ ability to meet WILEF Gold Certification standards year after year is a testament to the remarkable women with whom I practice law and to the incredible opportunities available in our firm,” said Cindy Ohlenforst, a Dallas tax partner and chair of K&L Gates’ global Women in the Profession committee.
K&L Gates has received multiple recognitions in recent months and years for its commitment to opportunities for diverse lawyers, including a 10th consecutive rating as a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality” from the Human Rights Campaign in January; a Top Performer designation by the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD); and an “Employer of Choice for Gender Equality” certification by the Australian Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
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, with others including the Diversity Council Australia, LCLD, Equality Campaign Australia, the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), the National Bar Association, the National LGBT Bar Association, and the Stonewall (U.K.) Global Diversity Champions Program.
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.