“Every year, Diversity Lab raises the bar for Mansfield Rule certification, challenging law firms to do better and go further in creating opportunities for advancement in our ranks,” said Reed Smith Global Managing Partner, Sandy Thomas. “We are very grateful to again have exceeded Mansfield’s benchmarks for progress while reinvigorating our own personal commitments to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.”
The Mansfield Rule 4.0 certification process measures law firms’ progress in promoting women, diverse attorneys, LGBTQ+ attorneys, and attorneys with disabilities, for recruitment, governance roles, and equity partner promotions, as well as inclusion in client teams.
Over the past four consecutive years, Reed Smith has achieved Mansfield “Certified Plus” status, which shows that a firm has 30% or more women, lawyers of color, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities, in leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions.
"The last year has been particularly rewarding for us in finding new and creative ways to provide opportunities for our diverse lawyers to build and grow thriving practices, and assume leadership positions,” Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Global Chair John Iino said. “Mansfield 4.0 reflects our continued progress in every single Certified Plus metric over the past three years, from lateral recruitment and equity partner promotions, to taking the reins of leadership in the firm and on client teams.”
The Mansfield Rule has yielded great change in the legal industry overall. According to Diversity Lab, prior to participating in the Mansfield certification process, only 12% of firms tracked their candidates for leadership roles and 25% tracked their candidates for lateral partner hiring, whereas 100% of participating firms are tracking these candidate pools now.
Collective outcomes from the 3.0 certification also include:
- 94% of participating firms reported that their candidate pool for pitch teams was more diverse following adoption of the Mansfield Rule.
- 92% of firms reported an increase in formal diversity discussions regarding succession planning for leadership and governance roles, and 85% reported an increase in formal discussions for lateral partner hiring.
- 79% of firms reported that their lateral partner hiring pool was more diverse, and 76% said their equity partner promotions pool was more diverse.
- 57% of participating firms elected or appointed a higher percentage of diverse lawyers into office managing partner roles.
Read more about Mansfield Rule 4.0 from Diversity Labs.