- Legal departments at some of the largest corporations were among those recently honored for their work to strengthen diversity, equity and inclusion among their in-house leadership and outside counsel.
- Overall, 41 departments achieved Mansfield Rule certification from Diversity Lab for their work from 2020-2022 to enhance the diversity of the candidates considered for important internal positions and lead external counsel roles. This was more than double the number of departments who earned the certification during the program’s 2019-2020 inaugural year.
- The corporations that achieved Mansfield Rule: Legal Department Edition 2.0 certification included Accenture, Booz Allen Hamilton, Gap, HP, McDonald’s, Pfizer, Uber and U.S. Bank.
To achieve the Mansfield Rule designation, the legal departments needed to consider at least 50% underrepresented talent for appointments and promotions to senior leadership roles, internal high-visibility career development opportunities, open lateral positions and outside counsel lead roles.
Underrepresented talent includes racially and ethnically diverse lawyers, women lawyers, LGBTQ+ lawyers and lawyers with disabilities, according to Diversity Lab.
The legal departments that received the Mansfield certification also ensured that their internal advancement processes were transparent and accessible to all of their attorneys.
Additionally, more than half of the honored legal departments achieved Mansfield Rule certification plus status. This designation indicates an organization not only met or exceeded the baseline certification requirements, but also successfully achieved at least 50% underrepresented lawyer representation in a notable number of their current leadership roles.
In an open letter posted to Diversity Lab’s website, the leaders from Mansfield certified departments pledged to continue their efforts and encouraged other in-house teams to do the same.
“We call upon our peers to join us in advancing DEI in legal department leadership across industries by adhering to Mansfield’s behavioral science and data-driven certification process,” the letter said. “The results and positive impact on our legal departments and in the profession are undeniable.”
Legal chief reactions
The open letter also included quotes from several general counsel and chief legal officers whose departments were recognized.
Desiree Ralls-Morrison, the global chief legal officer at McDonald’s, said the corporation was proud to achieve the certification plus designation and she called the Mansfield Rule program “a leading example of the action needed to accelerate change within the legal industry.”
“Building DE&I into the way our legal team operates and in our partnerships has enabled us to recruit more equitably and foster a more diverse pipeline of talent,” Ralls-Morrison said. “While we’re excited about this progress, we look forward to continuing this work and the continued accountability and rigor this rule brings.”
James Chosy, general counsel at U.S. Bancorp, said the Mansfield Rule program has impacted how the financial institution hires and develops its legal professionals.
“It’s also prompted us to think differently about the outside counsel teams that best represent our values and serve our needs,” Chosy said. “As a result, we’ve meaningfully increased the diversity of our representation and also deepened our relationships with law firms who share our commitment to DEI.”
Julie Jacobs, CLO and GC at HP, said the Mansfield Rule initiative “brought a trackable rigor to our internal diversification focus.”
“Given the demands that we make of our outside counsel to field diverse teams on HP matters, it was critically important to impose similar accountability on ourselves,” Jacobs said.
Additionally, PayPal GC Bimal Patel said Mansfield 2.0 “has created a process and framework to implement our core values through evaluating and hiring top diverse talent both within the legal department and our law firm partners.”