- More than 20 additional large law firms have committed to taking steps to track, consider, measure, and achieve diversity in leadership as part of Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule Certification process.
- Overall, upwards of 180 large firms in the U.S. and Canada have agreed to take part in the program requiring them to consider at least 30% historically underrepresented lawyers when making leadership appointments and promoting attorneys into the equity partnership.
- Firms that receive Mansfield Rule certification can send their newly promoted underrepresented partners to annual Mansfield Client Forums to build relationships with in-house counsel at well-known corporations. An estimated $3-5 million in new business has been generated by the law firm partners attending such events, according to Diversity Lab.
Legal departments are increasingly seeking diverse outside counsel, and law firms can demonstrate they are serious about DEI through participation in Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule certification process.
The initiative first launched five years ago, and its sixth annual iteration runs from July 2022 to July 2023.
Initially, firms were required to consider at least 30% women lawyers and underrepresented racial and ethnic lawyers for leadership roles.
Mansfield Rule version 6.0 requires firms to consider at least 30% women, attorneys of color, LGBTQ+ lawyers and lawyers with disabilities for equity partner promotions, leadership roles and C-suite roles.
Firms can also seek a “Certification Plus” designation, which evaluates whether firms have achieved diversity in leadership, not just considered it.
“The Mansfield certification evolves every year, based on learnings from prior iterations, to drive even greater progress,” said Kavita Ramakrishnan, Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule and knowledge sharing senior director.
The 21 new firms joining the Mansfield Rule initiative are in addition to the 99% of firms that re-committed from last year, according to a Diversity Lab press release issued earlier this week.
Well-known new participants include Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; Milbank; Mintz Levin; and Nelson Mullins (See full list below).
Diversity Lab also operates a Mansfield certification program for midsize law firms. In May, the first group of midsize firms were honored for their successful DEI efforts.
Here are the new large firms participating in Mansfield Rule version 6.0:
* Armstrong Teasdale
* Bass, Berry & Sims
* Bradley Arant Boult Cummings
* Burr & Forman
* Cassels Brock & Blackwell
* Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete
* Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson
* Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
* Jones Walker
* Maynard Cooper & Gale
* Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo
* Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough
* Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein
* Pryor Cashman
* Steptoe & Johnson
* Vedder Price