Stoel Rives has long been recognized for its advancement of women lawyers to positions of leadership and ownership. Our firm hired its first female associate in 1953, at a time when very few women were licensed to practice law. In 1975, Stoel Rives was the first large law firm in Oregon to appoint a female partner, Velma Jeremiah. "V.J." was soon joined by others, and by the mid 1980s, Stoel Rives was one of the first firms of more than 100 attorneys to have 10 percent women partners.
The women at Stoel Rives have been active leaders and pioneers in the community. The first woman president of the Multnomah Bar Association and the first woman from Oregon appointed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (1998) were Stoel Rives lawyers. Several women lawyers at the firm have served as president of the Multnomah County Bar Association and have served as bar examiners. Stoel Rives lawyers were also active in breaking down the gender-exclusive admissions policies at prominent men's clubs.
Stoel Rives women attorneys count among the finest lawyers in their communities. One Stoel Rives attorney is currently named to the Top 25 Oregon Women Super Lawyers® list. In addition, 21 Stoel Rives women attorneys are rated as "America's Leading Lawyers" by legal researcher Chambers and Partners, with a further 30 Stoel Rives women attorneys receiving recognition in the Best Lawyers in America® directory.
Stoel Rives' history of inclusion continues today. Key leadership roles in our firm are currently held by women, including the firm's Executive Committee members; Practice Group Leaders; Office Managing Partners; Chief Business Development Officer; Chief Lawyer Development Officer and Chief Human Resources Officer.
Other Policies and Resources
Stoel Rives offers support and encouragement to its women attorneys through its professional development and coaching and mentoring programs, which are designed to address issues of gender as well as other issues pertinent to attorney development and retention. In addition, the firm supports work life balance for attorneys through policies providing for a reduced-schedule option, the Parenting Circle, the employee assistance program and the parental leave policy.
WILEF Gold Standard Certified
Stoel Rives LLP is Gold Standard Certified by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum ("WILEF"), a leading organization for women in law dedicated to assisting women in the largest law firms and corporate law departments in advancing their careers—through developing a sense of empowerment and becoming leaders. The certification process focuses on whether women are significantly represented in top leadership positions and among the top-earning attorneys. Stoel Rives has met the certification requirements for six consecutive years (2011-2016).
Women Lawyers Retreats
Our Women Lawyers Retreats bring together women from all of the firm's offices to focus on professional success, integrating professional and personal priorities, building connections with one another, and understanding the historical context of our achievements. Activities include educational sessions, candid discussions on firm-wide issues, and networking. Our Women Lawyers Retreats are part of Stoel Rives' ongoing efforts to create a work environment that helps each lawyer succeed on the job through an individual path that benefits both the lawyer and the firm.