65 Law Firms Pilot Mansfield Rule 2.0 to Boost Diversity in Leadership Ranks
‘Mansfield Rule’ – the next generation of the Rooney Rule – certifies that law firms consider at least 30% women, LGBTQ+ and minority lawyers for significant leadership roles
Diversity Lab partnered with 44 of the country’s leading law firms to pilot the inaugural version of the Mansfield Rule from Summer 2017 through mid-2018. There are now 65 law firms participating in the 2.0 version that runs from July 2018 to July 2019.
Named after Arabella Mansfield, the first woman admitted to the practice of law in the United States, the Mansfield Rule measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered women, LGBTQ+, and minority lawyers – at least 30% of the candidate pool – for promotions, senior level hiring, and significant leadership roles in the firm, including:
- Equity Partner Promotions
- Lateral Partner and Mid/Senior Level Associate Searches
- Practice Group & Office Head Leadership
- Executive Committee and/or Board of Directors
- Partner Promotions/Nominations Committee
- Compensation Committee
- Chairperson and/or Managing Partner
For example, if firm management has identified a short list of five candidates for an opening on the executive committee, under the Mansfield Rule guidelines, two of the candidates would need to be women, attorneys of color and LGBTQ+. Firms that consider diverse lawyers for 70% or more of their leadership committees/roles that exist at the firm and are open during the review period qualify to become Mansfield Certified.
The Evolution of the Mansfield Rule
The Mansfield Rule was inspired by the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which was created by the late Dan Rooney in 2003 and is now supported by his son, Art Rooney II, President of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Rooney Rule requires every NFL team to interview at least one minority candidate for head coach vacancies. In the years following its implementation, the number of minorities hired to fill head-coach roles doubled. New research, which controlled for other factors that may have contributed to this positive outcome, shows that a diverse candidate is about 20 percent more likely to fill an NFL head coaching vacancy during the Rooney era than before the rule was introduced.
“The Rooney Rule was revolutionary. We now benefit from standing on the shoulders of giants with the Mansfield Rule,” said Caren Ulrich Stacy, CEO of Diversity Lab. “Leveraging lessons learned from the NFL and recent research that shows it is important to interview more than one diverse candidate, we are incredibly well positioned to diversify the top ranks of the legal profession.”
Mansfield Rule 2.0, the next iteration of the Rule, launched July 16, 2018 and included LGBTQ+ lawyers in addition to women and attorneys of color. Also new, Mansfield 2.0 measures consideration for participation in client pitch meetings and request that participating law firms make appointment and election processes transparent to all lawyers in their firms.
1.0 Pilot Outcomes Thus Far
As part of the yearlong certification process, the Diversity Lab team checks in with each participating firm monthly through group knowledge sharing calls and also more formally through a one-on-one six- and twelve-month data collection process.
The results at the six month check-in point for the inaugural pilot showed that significant cultural and procedural changes have already occurred at the participating firms within the first few months of the reporting period. Key findings include:
- Before adopting the Mansfield Rule, only 20% of the 44 participating firms tracked the diversity of candidates considered for lateral senior associate and partner openings, and only 30% had formally tracked the diversity of candidates for leadership and governance roles.
- As a result of the Mansfield Rule, 95% of participating firms experienced an increase in formal discussions among firm leaders regarding broadening the pool of diverse candidate for appointments to leadership positions and lateral hiring; 83% of participating firms reported an increase in formal discussions regarding broadening the pool for partnership promotions.
- Many of the firms have now added reporting on the diversity of their leadership, hiring, and promotions pipelines (i.e,. the Mansfield Rule statistics) as a regular agenda item for Management Committee meetings.
- Nearly 75% of participating firms did not have written job descriptions for leadership roles in place; more than one-half have adopted them as part of the Mansfield Rule process.
The full report can be viewed here.
As a next step, Diversity Lab is in the midst of collecting year-end data to evaluate the 1.0 Rule’s success in increasing the representation of diverse lawyers in leadership. Early returns show promise from this perspective.
“While six months — and even one year — is certainly not enough time to completely uproot old processes and change law firm cultures, these early indicators show that the Mansfield Rule’s discipline and accountability measures are already disrupting dialogues and practices within firms,” said Ulrich Stacy. “We will continue to collect data, measure the outcomes, and share the results publicly.”
The Mansfield Rule’s principles are supported by research findings that law firms with women in leadership roles have more women lawyers overall and 5 percent more women equity partners on average. “When up-and-coming women lawyers look ahead and see women in leadership roles, it signals to them that there is a path to success at the firm for women and other diverse lawyers,” said Lisa Kirby, Diversity Lab’s Director of Research and Knowledge Sharing.
Law Firms Piloting Mansfield Rule 2.0
Listed below are some of the trailblazing law firms that are piloting the 2.0 version of the Mansfield Rule.
|Akerman||Faegre Baker Daniels||Munger, Tolles & Olson|
|Arent Fox||Fasken||Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg|
|Arnold & Porter||Fenwick & West LLP||Nixon Peabody|
|Baker Botts||Finnegan Henderson||Norton Rose Fulbright|
|Baker & McKenzie||Fish & Richardson||O’Melveny & Myers|
|Beveridge & Diamond, PC||Foley & Mansfield||Orrick|
|Blank Rome||Goodwin||Pepper Hamilton|
|Brinks Gilson||Goulston & Storrs||Reed Smith|
|Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck||Hogan Lovells||Saul Ewing|
|Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner||Holland & Hart||Schiff Hardin|
|Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney||Holland & Knight||Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis|
|Clifford Chance||Husch Blackwell||Seyfarth Shaw|
|Cooley||Jenner & Block||Sheppard Mullin|
|Covington||Katten Muchin Rosenman||Steptoe|
|Crowell & Moring||Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck||Stoel Rives|
|Day Pitney||Littler Mendelson||White & Case|
|Dechert||McDermott Will & Emery||WilmerHale|
|Dentons||Merchant & Gould||Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati|
|DLA Piper||Miller Canfield||Winston & Strawn|
|Dorsey & Whitney||Morgan Lewis||Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP|
|Drinker Biddle & Reath||Morris, Manning & Martin|
|Eversheds Sutherland||Morrison & Foerster|
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney – which has a direct connection to the Rooney Rule through its named partner Art Rooney II, President of the Pittsburgh Steelers – is also piloting the Mansfield Rule. “My father would be proud to know that we are working together as a community to transition the Rooney Rule into the legal profession. He was a true believer in diversity and collaboration, so this is the perfect way to honor his legacy,” Rooney said. “I am thrilled to support and take part in such a large and meaningful effort – with so many prestigious law firms – to diversify the legal profession at the highest levels.”
“We are enthusiastic about embarking on our second year as a Mansfield Rule pilot firm. The Mansfield framework has provided a valuable structure to our talent processes, and we are especially pleased to have worked with Diversity Lab to add LGBTQ+ to the Mansfield Rule this year,” said David Hashmall, Chairman of Goodwin.
“Having followed the Mansfield Rule initiative over the past year, we are delighted to join the 2.0 pilot. As we seek to continue making progress on our diversity and inclusion goals, the Mansfield Rule will provide a helpful, metrics-driven focus. We’re also looking forward to the chance to knowledge share with the community of other firms so we can move the profession forward collectively on this issue,” said Stephen J. Immelt, CEO of Hogan Lovells.
Legal Department & Other Industry Support for the Mansfield Rule
Law firms that successfully pilot the Mansfield Rule over the next year will be designated “Mansfield Certified” and have the opportunity to send their recently promoted diverse partners to a two-day Client Forum in late 2018 to build relationships with and learn from influential in-house counsel. So far, more than 70 legal departments have signed on to support this effort by attending a Client Forum, including:
|3M||Abercrombie & Fitch Co.||American Express|
|Bloomberg L.P.||Boston Children’s Hospital||Cargill|
|CBS Corporation||Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.||ClearSlide|
|First National Bank||Ford Motor Company||Gap Inc.|
|Hewlett Packard Enterprise||HP Inc.|
|Plantronics||PNC Financial Services||RPX Corporation|
|Target||TCF Bank||Toyota Material Handling USA|
|ThredUP||Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.||VMware|
|Voya Financial, Inc.||Waddell & Reed||Walmart|
“We believe in the change that diversity initiatives like the Mansfield Rule help create, and the role corporate legal departments have in driving this work. We continue to monitor and applaud our firms’ participation in diversity initiatives, including the Mansfield Rule. And in 2018, we look forward to hosting one of the Mansfield Rule Client Forums at our headquarters in San Francisco,” said Julie Gruber, Executive Vice President, Global General Counsel, Corporate Secretary & Chief Compliance Officer, Gap Inc.
“We believe diversity and inclusion help make us a more innovative and competitive company, and the same is true for our suppliers and outside counsel. The Mansfield Rule Client Forum is an innovative way for us to recognize law firms that are trying something new to further boost diversity in their top ranks,” said Ivan Fong, Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs & General Counsel of 3M.
“Compass Minerals strives to work with law firms that take significant actions to boost and sustain diversity and inclusion. That is why we strongly encourage and proactively ask our outside counsel to participate in the Mansfield Rule,” said Diana Toman, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Compass Minerals.
Legal departments interested in attending the Client Forums should contact Lisa Kirby at email@example.com.
Other legal industry leaders have shown considerable support for the Mansfield Rule as well. American Law Media has added a new searchable feature in their Legal Compass technology that allows in-house counsel to search for law firms that are “in progress” or Mansfield Certified.
“The adoption of the Mansfield Rule is critical to the legal profession, as what gets measured often gets managed,” said Patrick Fuller, Vice President, Legal of ALM Intelligence. “By making Mansfield Rule participation identifiable and searchable on Legal Compass, it enables legal departments to quickly identify firms that have made a commitment to diversity.”