28 June 2021
We are pleased to announce our support today of the Mansfield Rule, and as one of the first leading law firms to pilot its expansion to the UK.
More than 160 large law firms, including 48 new firms announced today, in the United States and Canada participate in the Mansfield Rule Certification process which launches on 15 July 2021.
The goal of the Mansfield Rule is to boost the representation of historically underrepresented lawyers in law firm leadership. Now entering its fifth year, the Mansfield Rule has become the standard by which law firms track and measure that they have affirmatively considered at least thirty percent women, lawyers from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, lawyers with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ lawyers for top leadership roles, senior-level lateral hiring, promotions into the equity partnership, and participation in client pitch meetings.
Recent data shows that the Mansfield Rule is succeeding at its goal. The “early adopter” firms piloting the Mansfield Rule since its 2017 inception have increased the racial and ethnic diversity of their management committees by 30 times the rate of non-Mansfield Rule firms.
Similar to previous years, this iteration of the Mansfield Rule includes new challenges to continuously push the boundaries necessary to boost diversity in law firm leadership. New for Mansfield 5.0, firms are required to:
Law firms pursuing Mansfield Certification Plus, which indicates that they have considered and achieved thirty percent representation of underrepresented lawyers in many of the Mansfield Rule’s categories, are asked to heighten the transparency of their partner compensation criteria and processes by publishing and making them available to all lawyers in the firm.
Natalia Marulanda, Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule Manager said: “Increasing accountability and transparency have always been major objectives of the Mansfield Rule, and we’re excited to be working with firms to shed more light on partner compensation practices, the holy grail of inclusion and equity.”
Today marks the first expansion by Diversity Lab outside of North America with the launch of the Mansfield Rule UK, and the firm's support alongside ten other leading UK law firms.
Marulanda commented that “we have received many requests over the last few years to launch a UK version of the Mansfield Rule, so we were thrilled to work with an advisory group of leading talent experts at these firms to formulate a similar version. We now have the opportunity to test these same principles, which have been incredibly effective in the U.S. and Canada, in a new context with this group of trailblazing UK firms.”
With the addition of the Mansfield Rule UK, Diversity Lab now facilitates four versions of the Mansfield Rule Certification, including one for legal departments and another for midsize law firms, both of which will launch new cohorts in Fall 2021. All firms that meet or exceed the required Mansfield Rule Certification parameters, which are measured twice yearly through a data collection process and structured check-in meetings, are provided with an opportunity to send their newly promoted underrepresented partners to Client Forums to meet and learn from hundreds of influential legal department leaders.
Visit Diversity Lab for a full list of Mansfield Rule U.S. and Canada participating firms, and other Mansfield Rule UK 1.0 firms.
Diversity Lab is an incubator for innovative ideas and solutions that boost diversity and inclusion in law. Experimental ideas are created through our Hackathons and piloted in collaboration with more than 150 top law firms and legal departments across the country. Diversity Lab leverages data, behavioural science, design thinking, and technology to further develop and test new ideas and research, measure the results, and share the lessons learned. For more information, please visit the Diversity Lab website.
by Wendy Tomlinson