Tomorrow, law firm Fennemore Craig, among others, will be honored for its commitment to improving the numbers of women lawyers in its leadership positions.

Pictured: Five of the Fennemore Craig women equity partners (and their office locations), L to R: Amanda Cowley (Las Vegas), Sarah Strunk (Phoenix), Laurel Davis (Las Vegas), Ann Morgan (Reno), Jodi Goodheart (Las Vegas), Sue Chetlin (Phoenix)

In the October Arizona Attorney, we are running a small item about the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) awards. We noted that nine firms with Arizona offices reached the Gold Standard. However, in the state only Fennemore Craig excelled in the award’s six criteria.

Congratulations to Fennemore and all the firms that will be honored tomorrow in New York City. Here is more news from the firm on the achievement.

Women in Law Empowerment Forum recognizes firm’s commitment to women

PHOENIX  The Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) will honor Fennemore Craig for integrating women into leadership positions at its Gold Standard Awards Luncheon September 12 at the Yale Club in New York City. Twenty-six percent of the equity partners are women across Fennemore Craig’s six offices in Arizona, Colorado and Nevada.

According to Elizabeth Anne Tursi, national chair of WILEF, Fennemore Craig is one of three of nationwide certification winners that met or exceeded all six criteria set by WILEF. There were a total of 50 firms that received the Gold Standard Certification.

Half of the committee members responsible for managing Fennemore Craig are female partners, bypassing the 20 percent award criteria established by WILEF. Additionally over a quarter of the firm’s equity partners and department heads are women.

Firms of 100 or more lawyers in the United States are invited to apply for the Gold Standard certification. Law firms must meet three of the six specific criteria to become eligible for the award. Applicants are required to demonstrate that women account for at least 20 percent of the firm’s equity partnership and show that they hold positions of power and serve on committees.

Sarah Strunk

“At Fennemore Craig, we work actively to develop, recruit, and retain a diverse group of attorneys,” said Sarah Strunk, director and management committee member at Fennemore Craig.  She adds, “The firm devotes substantial time and resources to developing talent and leadership in all of its attorneys and is committed to maintaining gender equity in the ranks of its attorneys. We are honored to receive the 2012 WILEF Gold Standard Certification.” Strunk will accept the award for the firm in New York on September 12.

Last week, Nashville was the site for a great conference attended by me and a few Arizona colleagues. Now, I’m pleased to report that the Bar won awards in two communications categories at the National Association of Bar Executives (NABE) workshop.

NABE is an affiliate of the American Bar Association. Last week’s meeting was the annual gathering of the NABE Communications Section, one of NABE’s oldest and most established (I am privileged to be a member of the NABE Communications Section Council, though I was not a judge in this year’s awards).

In addition to the many great educational programs the Section offers at the annual meeting, it also honors bar products and services in multiple categories and based on bar association size (the State Bar of Arizona is considered a large bar). This year’s awards were sponsored by legal research service Fastcase, which is a partner to a growing number of bar associations nationwide (click here to see the list).

At Friday’s awards luncheon, State Bar products were recognized in two categories: Website Design (click here for the Bar’s site) and Special Publications (recognizing the annual report).

Congratulations to everyone who helped brainstorm, design and produce the projects.

Here are a few photos from the event:

State Bar of Arizona Chief Communications Officer Rick DeBruhl and Art Director Karen Holub, center, hold Luminary Awards. Also pictured: Christina Steinbrecker, Fastcase Bar Relations Manager, and Philip Rosenthal, Fastcase President

2011 Luminary Award winner representatives, National Association of Bar Executives Communications Section, Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 21, 2011