“We are very proud to consistently maintain our Mansfield Certified Plus status over the last five years,” said Global Chief Diversity Officer John Iino. “Mansfield was designed to ensure that firms were held accountable for providing opportunities for the advancement of their diverse lawyers, which is of particular importance during a challenging business environment. Through programs like our DE&I Leadership Development Program and Inclusive Leadership Program, each of which were launched in 2022, we have redoubled our efforts to prioritize the retention, development, and support of our diverse lawyers, putting them in a position to serve as the current and future leaders of the firm. We look forward to continuing to raise the bar on diverse representation throughout the profession.”
The Mansfield Rule asks law firms to consider at least 30% historically underrepresented lawyers – women lawyers, underrepresented racial and/or ethnic lawyers, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and/or lawyers with disabilities – when appointing to leadership roles, promoting to equity partnership, and more. It asks them to create and publish job descriptions and appointment/election policies for leadership roles, as well. Firms also must share lessons learned through monthly knowledge sharing forums, to ensure that all firms are working as a community to move the needle on DE&I in the legal profession, and they must meet routine check-in, data-collection, and reporting milestones.
Firms participating in Mansfield 5.0 were also asked, for the first time, to consider at least 30% underrepresented lawyers when hiring and promoting to C-level or other senior-level professional staff roles and for nominations to Chambers USA. They were also asked to track candidate pools in a more granular way to ensure that no underrepresented group was left behind; each of the four underrepresented groups were required to be tracked separately from one another and firms were required to include Middle Eastern/North African identity as a tracked demographic category as well.
Additionally, Reed Smith has once again achieved Mansfield “Certified Plus” status, which requires that, in addition to meeting or exceeding the baseline certification requirements, the firm has successfully reached at least 30% underrepresented lawyer representation in a notable number of their current leadership roles.
“It takes a lot of work for firms to make even incremental changes to longstanding systems, and it is an absolute honor for the Diversity Lab team to see what these firms have achieved over the course of the year-long certification cycle,” said Kavita Ramakrishnan, Diversity Lab senior director for the Mansfield Rule and knowledge sharing. “The firms enthusiastically engaged with Mansfield’s rigorous challenges while sharing learnings with each other to ensure a collective 'win.' Every Certified and Certified Plus firm should take great pride in this hard-earned accomplishment!”