Mansfield Outcomes Analysis
As the following shows, Mansfield law firms and legal departments are increasing the inclusivity and transparency of their leadership processes. As a result, the early adopter firms are progressing at a faster rate than they were pre-Mansfield and outpacing non-Mansfield firms on diversifying leadership.
Mansfield’s goal is to open the door wider and ensure that opportunities for advancement are inclusive for everyone. Results, such as greater diversity in leadership, only come with more inclusive processes over time. Mansfield does not mandate quotas or outcomes, but instead focuses on inclusive and transparent processes, and broadening the pool of qualified talent considered to ensure everyone has equal access to advancement opportunities. Once these processes and cultural changes take hold over time, as illustrated by the data below, increased inclusivity in leadership follows.
Process, Culture & Consideration — Initial Results
As a result of Mansfield, 300+ participating law firms are implementing transparent processes and tracking their leadership pipelines. Prior to instituting Mansfield:
- Less than 25% of firms tracked their talent pipelines for leadership roles, equity partner promotions, or lateral lawyer open roles
- Less than 50% of firms had written and transparent job descriptions for leadership roles
Inclusive culture changes are happening at the participating law firms as a result of Mansfield’s inclusive processes:
- 92% of large firms increased their formal discussions on broadening the pool of qualified talent considered for leadership roles and 85% increased lateral partner hiring inclusivity discussions
- 94% of large firms broadened the pool of qualified talent considered for client pitch teams
- 79% of large firms broadened the pool of qualified talent considered for lateral partner hiring
- 76% of large firms broadened the pool of qualified talent considered for equity partner promotions
Increased transparency and inclusive actions are also positive momentum at the participating 60+ legal departments. As a result of Mansfield:
- 91% of legal departments track internal talent pools for discretionary high-visibility opportunities
- 75% of legal departments track internal talent pools for promotions
- 60% of legal departments track outside counsel team leadership for new matters with law firms
- 86% of legal departments have transparent internal job responsibilities
- 84% of legal departments have transparent internal advancement processes
Leadership Inclusivity & Diversity — Initial Results
Data scientists analyzed the progress of the 35+ Mansfield early adopter law firms compared to 200+ non-Mansfield firms using MCCA data from 2007 to 2021. As the following graphs illustrate, Mansfield early adopter firms — those committed for 5+ years — are diversifying leadership at a faster rate than they were pre-Mansfield and outpacing non-Mansfield firms. Highlights include:
- The growth in underrepresented racial and ethnic (URE) representation for Mansfield early adopters has surpassed non-Mansfield firms since the launch in 2017 for several leadership categories, specifically:
- Prior to Mansfield, URE representation on early adopters’ and non-Mansfield firms’ Executive Committees was almost identical; early adopters’ URE growth rate has nearly doubled non-Mansfield firms’ growth rate as of 2021.
- Similarly, URE representation on Partner Nominating Committees was almost identical for both groups prior to the 2017; early adopters’ URE representation has outpaced non-Mansfield firms with a growth of 9% in 2021, compared to 6%.
- The representation of women on Partner Nominating Committees and in the Equity Partnership of Mansfield early adopter firms has slightly outpaced non-Mansfield firms; although this is a positive trend, there is more work to be done to increase women lawyer representation in all leadership categories —including Executive Committees and Partner Promotions — for both Mansfield and non-Mansfield firms.
There is plenty of work still to be done, but progress is happening. Many law firms and legal departments are on an upward trajectory in diversifying their leadership. This should be celebrated as a ray of hope across the industry and inspire all organizations to double down on positive outcomes achieved in recent years while also simultaneously exploring areas of improvement. For those who are as impatient as we are, consistent participation in Mansfield has proven to be a successful intervention that speeds the rate of progress. For more details on Mansfield, please contact Kavita Ramakrishnan at email@example.com.
Important Notes: Mansfield Early Adopters include firms that achieved Mansfield Certification each year from 2017-2022 (1.0 – 5.0). Non-Mansfield firms are those that have never participated in Mansfield. Both categories are limited to firms that completed the MCCA Diversity Survey in a given year. Partner promotions includes equity and non-equity partners. In 2021, MCCA changed their survey to ask about equity and non-equity partners separately, which changed the promotion question from prior years and may affect the validity of the data and outcomes analysis.
There is no intent in the design or parameters to exclude any talent from consideration for opportunities at any participating law firms or legal departments. The focus is on inclusivity, consistent with the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity. Mansfield does not ever require an organization to violate the law in any way. Proper implementation of these efforts never requires a set aside, a quota, or the use of any criteria other than the selection and promotion of the highest qualified candidate for an opportunity. It is the obligation of each organization to consult with its own legal and human resources departments before implementing Mansfield. An effective Mansfield organization follows the law carefully and engages with internal resources to achieve implementation.