The Americas Women in Business Law Awards gives law firms and professional services firms in the region the recognition they deserve for their efforts in helping women advance in the legal profession.

For full and extended view of all the awards methodolgy, categories, definitions and deadlines
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The event is split into practitioner, law firm, and in-house categories. Law firms are first invited to make submissions detailing their female lawyer numbers in relation to their male counterparts. Submissions will also include details of tangible, women-friendly working practices and policies as well as biographical information about leading female lawyers.
A dedicated research team then conducts a series of peer review interviews – face-to-face and over the phone – with leading female practitioners across multiple areas of law and jurisdictions verifying much of the information provided. The team will also incorporate other research from within the group in order to further refine the results i.e. magazine survey results / directory analysis, etc.


  • The winning firm initiatives are decided by a judging panel composed of leading women in-house lawyers and senior research, editorial, and awards staff following an extensive research process.
  • The winning individuals are decided by an adjudication panel composed of senior editorial staff following an extensive research process.
  • Individual winners are judged on their professional accomplishments as well as advocacy and influence within her field between January 1 to December 31 of the preceding year.
  • Firm and country/regional winners are judged on their ability to support the development of women in the legal profession and provide work/life programmes to enable women to pursue legal careers. Criteria include the ratio of women to men lawyers (at all levels of seniority), the retention of women associates to partner level and any relevant diversity initiatives.



Career Development

  • This includes mentoring, sponsorship, coaching, and talent management
    • A mentor is a guide for you to get to your goals on your own
    • A sponsor actively tries to get you promoted
    • A coach is usually external to the company and sits with you one-on-one
  • Please note that we include maternity and transition coaching in the mentoring category, NOT the work-life category. Work-life can contain elements of this type of coaching, but standalone projects are within mentoring
  • Recruiting, retaining, promoting, and training initiatives
  • Leadership development programs
  • Other initiatives that find ways of hiring more women associates (using novel advertising campaigns or programs for lateral hires, including from other jurisdictions)

Diverse Women Lawyers

  • Covers everything around diversity: race, LGTBQ, disability, social mobility; that also ahve a women's component
  • Policies have to be implemented in and targeted to the specified jurisdiction
  • Global initiatives with little local buy-in will be considered less relevant

Gender Diversity

  • Covers groups and networks (for example: women's groups with alumni, partners and clients present)
  • Also covers gender-based events.  These tend to be more social.

Pro Bono Work

  • Pro bono and social engagement programmes where the work is relevaqnt to women and gender diversity issues, where possible.
  • For example, legal work involving disadvantaged women.

Work-life balance

  • Includes flexible working, maternity leave and groups for parents etc. at law firms (affinity groups)
  • This category also covers childcare and any other innovative initiatives that support work-life balance


  • It is based on ALL other firm categories
  • We look for interesting, new initatives that are in the pipeline or recently launched
  • Evidence that difference is being made


  • Team awards recognises the teams for their contributions to business engagement, inclusion of new technologies, development of new specialsms within the team, the growth in team size, the realtionship with the CEO, and engagement with the executive and throughout the company.
  • General counsel awards recognise the best woman general counsels for their work in business enabling and thought leadership


  • Recognition for leading firms, based on a large picture view of initatives, demographics, and practitioners in each jurisdiction.

Individual awards

  • For ‘Nomination category’ please indicate whether the lawyer is being nominated for a Practice Area, Best in Latin America or Rising Star award. You can be nominated to more than one category.
  • For Professional accomplishments please include the nominee’s key recent legal work.
  • For Advocacy describe the ways in which the nominee has advocated for women in the legal inudstry.
  • For influence describe the extent to which the nominee has influenced policy and change within or external to the firm for the promotion of women in the legal industry.
  • For Thought Leadership provide examples of activities, such as publishing articles or books, speaking engagements, panel memberships, within the nominee’s practice area specialism or in reference to supporting women in law.
  • For ESG Leadership provide examples of engagement and leadership in ESG initiatives and advocacy work:
    • Environmental – which includes waste and pollution, resource depletion, greenhouse gas emission, deforestation, and climate change issues.
    • Social – which includes employee relations and diversity (including and beyond what is requested regarding women under the advocacy and influence sections), working conditions, conflict, and local communities.
    • Governance – which includes executive remuneration, donations and political lobbying, corruption and bribery, as well as board diversity and structure.


Can I send information in another format?

No.  All submissions must be made through our dedicated submissions portal.

Can I provide the same information that I provided to another publication?

Yes – so long as it relates to your firm’s policies and initiatives in the promotion of women and diversity or is specific to the leading women your are nominating and the information is what we have asked for.

How much influence do we have over our rating vs the external market?

Firms are encouraged to tell their story via our research form and through interviews. We then measure the firm’s input against the feedback we receive via studying the market. If our studies are in harmony with the firm’s assertations, we weight them equally. If there is an extreme disparity between the firm’s views and a pronounced percentage of the market, we will provide greater weight to the market consensus.

If we participate, are we guaranteed to get awarded and/or have commentary?

We do not guarantee awards or shortlist rankings.

Should we list confidential cases/clients? How do we ensure these remain confidential?

You can provide confidential clients/cases if you feel we should be aware of these, and we will certainly be respectful of confidential agreements – please mark confidential information clearly.

When/how do you contact client referees?

We contact all client referees provided to us via email and invite them to take part in an online client survey. The survey asks clients about the firms they use, why they use them, what they use them for and how long they have been using them. The information provided by clients is confidential.

Do you only award those of partner level for individual awards?

There are rare exceptions where an attorney of counsel or senior associate will be recognised as performing at a partner level.

How do we get an in-person interview?

Simply contact us and, depending on the schedule and flexibility of our researchers, we can arrange either a virtual meeting or an in-person interview.

Who are the attendees of Women in Business Law Awards Americas?

Those attending our awards night include law firms and in-house counsel.

Is the Women in Business Law Awards “pay-to-play?” If I don’t support the project financially do I still get ranked?

The Women in Business Law Awards is absolutely not “pay-to-play.” Firms cannot pay to receive an award and will only be shortlisted if the market deems them worthy of consideration. Declining to financially support the awards will not in any way affect a firm’s opportunity to receive an award. However, conversely, client firms do enjoy additional benefits such as being able to inform their clients and publish on their own websites and social media that they have been shortlisted and/or have won awards for the work they have done on their client’s behalf.