Mansfield Outcomes Show Significant Growth in Diversifying Leadership
Systemic Problem: Industry data shows that leadership in law firms and legal departments does not reflect the diversity of the workforce or society. Since lawyers often have an immense societal footprint – often branching out from leadership in private practice and companies to take on roles where their decisions reverberate massively across the public and private sectors – equity in the legal profession at the leadership level is crucial.
Structured Solution: The Mansfield Rule is a structured certification process designed to ensure all talent at participating law firms and legal departments have 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 leadership pathways.
Important Note: 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.
Initial Outcomes: An analysis of the MCCA data of “early adopter” firms that have completed five consecutive Mansfield certification cycles (from 2017 to 2021) highlights that these firms are succeeding at Mansfield’s intended purpose. The aggregate early adopter data as well as the individual firms’ and legal departments’ outcomes are detailed below.
The Mansfield firms’ success highlights the advantage of a long-term commitment to these principles combined with the accountability of the certification process. The culture of collective knowledge sharing embedded as part of Mansfield has also supported these firms in establishing and maintaining inclusive talent practices. These practices and the discipline associated with the consideration metric have produced and will sustain these firms’ continued progress.
Individual Firm & Legal Department Outcomes
The recent participating firms’ and legal departments’ individual results are further evidence that systemic problems require structured solutions to achieve greater inclusivity and equity in leadership. Click here to read the highlights.
Aggregate Early Adopter Firm Outcomes
The American Lawyer | By Amber E. Boydstun and Christopher Zorn | May 2023
Researchers from two universities say data science backs the need for DEI innovation and measurement, leveraging Mansfield as a prime example. Excerpts from the article follow.
“Our analyses also show that the direction and steepness for several of the trends are different for Mansfield firms than for non-Mansfield firms. Firms that have been consistently Mansfield certified for 5+ years (from when Mansfield launched) have diversified their executive committees and equity partnerships at statistically significantly faster rates. To illustrate those differences, consider two otherwise-identical hypothetical firms, one of which was Mansfield-certified since 2017 and the other never adopted Mansfield. For the non-Mansfield firm, our models indicate that between 2017 and 2021 the expected number of URE lawyers on the firm’s executive committee grew by roughly 45%; for the Mansfield firm, the expected growth was nearly 130%. We find similar differences in change rates with respect to equity partners. For non-Mansfield firms, the rate of growth in female equity partners between 2017 and 2021 was 7%, while for Mansfield firms the rate was 20%—nearly triple. For URE equity partners, the respective predicted growth rates were 16% and 41%, with Mansfield firms again charting a growth rate more than double that of non-Mansfield firms.
In all three of these cases, as the corresponding graphs show, the Mansfield “intervention” resulted in a much steeper rate of change for early adopters since they joined Mansfield in 2017. Mansfield firms’ hard work is paying off at the most impactful levels, and at the most consequential decision points of a lawyer’s career.”
Bloomberg | By John Iino, Jim Sandman, and Caren Ulrich Stacy | June 2022
Industry leaders explain why systemic problems require structured solutions, such as Mansfield, to equally distribute opportunities for all talent — no matter their background or demographic — to grow and advance professionally. Excerpts from the article follow.
“The goal of Mansfield is to diversify the entire power structure by broadening who is considered—through appointments, elections, promotions, and other critical activities that impact the pipeline—for dozens of influential leadership committees and roles. Law firms and legal departments that adhere to the rigorous annual certification process and report their verified data to Diversity Lab are awarded certification.
In law firms, power lies in the collective leadership structure. Firms are governed by influential committees—the management committee, partner-nominating committee, compensation committee, and more—as well as top roles, such as the managing partner and practice group leaders. Together, they determine who gets promoted to partner, how much lawyers are paid, and which partners get credit for new clients. If the leadership teams are diverse, then the policies and processes related to hiring, promoting, and rewarding talent will be more inclusive and equitable. Management decisions will more fully reflect and represent the needs of diverse workforces. It takes time to change the entrenched leadership practices and structure, and benefit from the ripple effect in the broader workplace.
Two years of preliminary aggregate data for the 30+ Mansfield early adopter firms show promise. Highlights include:
- Since the launch, non-Mansfield firms increased the racial and ethnic diversity of their management committees by a tenth of one percent (.13%), while Mansfield firms increased by 4.4%—more than 30 times the rate of non-Mansfield firms (See chart below).
- The racial and ethnic diversity of non-Mansfield firms’ partner nomination committees declined by nearly 1.0% between 2017 and 2019, while Mansfield firms increased by nearly 4% (See chart below).
- Non-Mansfield firms increased the racial and ethnic diversity of their equity partnership by 0.6% between 2017 and 2019, while Mansfield firms more than doubled with an increase of 1.5%.
Even more important are the participating firms’ individual outcomes. Prior to Mansfield, only 12% tracked the diversity of their leadership pipeline; now 100% do so. This allows firms to focus on who is in the pipeline now and in the future, and to document and measure progress. This unsung but critically vital work is the first of many steps required for more inclusive leadership. Participating in Mansfield is much more than an exercise in ticking the box. And the benefits are broader than current leadership. The commitment to re-certifying annually keeps firms from backsliding when new management takes over.”
“Early Adopter” Cohort of U.S. Mansfield Certified 1.0 Firms
(*No longer participating)
|Akerman*||Faegre Baker Daniels||Morris, Manning & Martin|
|Arnold & Porter||Fasken||Morrison & Foerster|
|Blank Rome||Fenwick & West||Munger, Tolles & Olson|
|Brinks Gilson & Lione||Fish & Richardson||Nixon Peabody|
|Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck||Goodwin||Orrick|
|Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner||Holland & Hart||O’Melveny & Myers*|
|Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney||Holland & Knight||Reed Smith|
|Clifford Chance||Jenner & Block||Seyfarth Shaw|
|Cooley||Katten Muchin||Sheppard Mullin|
|Covington||Latham & Watkins LLP||Troutman Sanders|
|Day Pitney||Littler Mendelson||White & Case|
|Dentons||McDermott Will & Emery||WilmerHale|
|DLA Piper||Miller Canfield||Winston & Strawn|
|Dorsey & Whitney||Morgan Lewis|
Diversity Lab is the owner of the service mark rights for MANSFIELD RULE and MANSFIELD RULE CERTIFIED, and the sole entity that can use and authorize other parties to use these service marks in connection with diversity efforts. These terms should not be used unless a law firm or other entity is registered and participating in the Mansfield Rule certification process administered by Diversity Lab.