The Mansfield Rule is a structured certification process designed to ensure all talent at participating law firms has a fair and equal opportunity to advance into leadership. Mansfield is focused on broadening the talent pool for consideration, including those historically underrepresented in the legal profession, to facilitate transparent pathways to leadership.
Mansfield Certification Plus is a designation reserved for firms that voluntarily measure the out-comes of their inclusive processes and have achieved positive results. By achieving Certified Plus status, Reed Smith affirms that it has implemented structural changes and taken steps over the past year to ensure paths to leadership – including lateral hiring, client pitch teams, promotions, appointments, and more – are open and transparent to all qualified lawyers.
In the US, the Mansfield Rule 6.0 certification process was the most rigorous yet requiring firms to consider at least 30% historically underrepresented lawyers - defined as women lawyers, underrepresented racial and ethnic lawyers, LGBTQ+ lawyers and lawyers with disabilities - when appointing to leadership roles and promoting into the equity partnership, along with a dozen other activities that focus on the path to leadership.
Mansfield UK 2.0 requires that law firms consider broad slates of qualified talent for leadership roles that include at least 30% women lawyers, underrepresented racial and ethnic lawyers, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities. As part of the Certification process, firms also demonstrated enhanced clarity and access to information around leadership roles, advancement processes, and compensation policies. This year, 18 law firms achieved 2022-2023 Mansfield UK Certification, among which 12 firms were designated Mansfield Certified Plus.
“Achieving Mansfield Certified Plus status has become the transatlantic litmus test for representative leadership among law firms and is a recognition that we have deeply valued since the inception of the Mansfield Rule in 2017,” said Alan York, Reed Smith’s global chair of diversity, equity, and inclusion. “We commend Diversity Lab for continuously raising the bar and setting higher expectations for participating firms, and will continue to serve as a standard bearer for leadership diversity in the legal community.”