Mansfield Rule Certification
Proudly participating in the Mansfield Rule certification process.
One of McLane Middleton’s core values is our belief that diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workforce makes us a better law firm by enhancing our capacity to develop innovative solutions for our clients, attract and retain the most talented colleagues and contribute to all segments of the communities we live and work in. We are committed to building a culture of inclusion where everyone feels respected, is treated fairly, and has the opportunity to perform to their highest potential.
As a key part of our focus on becoming a more inclusive, equitable, and diverse firm, we are proud to be participating in the Mansfield Rule certification process, a national initiative through Diversity Lab to help close the gender and diversity gap in the legal profession.
This certification program is designed to help us expand and manage our talent pipeline to ensure our firm reflects the diversity of our clients, our clients’ customers, and the communities where we live and work.
What is the Mansfield Rule?
The Mansfield Rule was modeled on the National Football League’s “Rooney Rule” and was inspired by an award-winning idea presented at the 2016 Women in Law Hackathon. The Mansfield Rule measures law firms against the goal of considering at least 30 percent women, lawyers of color, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities for attorney positions, leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, and formal client pitch opportunities.
Rather than setting quotas for outcomes, the Mansfield Rule is based on the premise that, if law firms actively consider a substantially increased level of qualified diverse candidates for these professional opportunities, the representation of diverse lawyers in law firms and their leadership will increase substantially as well. The Rule’s elements and operations are grounded in behavioral science research, including the 30 percent requirement, which researchers have found is the critical mass necessary to disrupt biases.
The structural elements of Diversity Lab’s certification process – including the accountability through frequent firm-specific check-ins and data collection, ongoing collaboration through monthly group knowledge sharing meetings, and the transparency of public certification – are key to this effort.
How Do Firms Become Certified?
Over the course of 18 months, participating law firms track the diversity of their candidate pools for leadership and governance roles, , and client pitch activity with a goal of considering at least 30 percent underrepresented lawyers in at least 60% of applicable categories.
Our participation in the Mansfield certification process helps us track important related metrics, standardize processes, and increase transparency. It also allows us to work closely with other leading law firms across the country to adopt best practices to increase the diversity of firm consistent with our core values.
To learn more about the Mansfield Rule, click here.