Media Contact: Barrie Handy, 206.757.8494 or

SEATTLE, JULY 6, 2011 – The Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) has announced Davis Wright Tremaine LLP will be awarded its Gold Standard Certification for integrating women into the highest leadership positions within the firm. WILEF’s certification program is the first and only one of its kind directed at recognizing law firms for advancing women in the legal profession, and specifically into positions of firm leadership.

“We’re proud to be among the first law firms in the country to receive this certification,” said Dave Baca, the firm’s managing partner. “For me, this describes a big part of who we are. Our women leaders make us a stronger firm, both in terms of how we support our clients, and how we support our attorneys and staff.”

WILEF surveyed more than 300 law firms in the United States, evaluating criteria such as percentage of female: equity partners; firm chairs and managing partners; governance committee members; compensation committee members; practice group or department heads; and top-income-earning partners. From those surveyed, 32 firms including Davis Wright Tremaine received Gold Standard Certification.

Susan Duffy, who serves as partner-in-charge of the firm’s largest office in Seattle and has held nearly every leadership position possible throughout the firm, was not surprised to see the firm rank highly.

“Three of our largest offices (Seattle, Los Angeles, and Portland, Ore.) are managed by women,” said Duffy. We have five women on the two most important decision-making committees in the firm. And we have a deep pool of extremely driven and well-respected young women partners and associates who will continue to fill those and other roles as we move forward.”

Davis Wright Tremaine will be honored at a luncheon in New York City in September, where members of the firm, including Manager of Diversity Initiatives Karen Russell, will be on hand to accept the award. “We are thrilled to be recognized by this groundbreaking program,” said Russell. “One of the great things about this program is that it shines a light on the tremendous things firms are doing to promote women to leadership positions, but it also highlights areas of improvement. We take this as a sign we’re on the right track, but we’ll continue to strive for more progress in inclusion of more women and diverse attorneys in law firm leadership positions.”