Mansfield Rule Early Adopter Outcomes
Mansfield Rule “Early Adopters” Show Significant Diversity Growth — and Outpace Legal Industry — in Critical Leadership Roles
SAN FRANCISCO (April 15, 2021) — Law firms piloting the Mansfield Rule since its inception have grown the racial and ethnic diversity of their top leadership, including diversifying their Management Committees by more than 30 times the rate of non-Mansfield firms.
The inaugural 1.0 Mansfield Rule certification process, launched by Diversity Lab in summer 2017, required firms to measure and confirm that they considered candidate pools that are at least 30% diverse — including women and underrepresented racial and ethnic lawyers as a starting point — when hiring senior associates and partners, promoting into the equity partnership and selecting leaders for management roles. (LGBTQ+ lawyers and lawyers with disabilities were added in the 2.0 and 3.0 versions.)
An analysis of the MCCA data of “early adopter” firms that have completed the first two Mansfield Rule certification cycles — from 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019 — highlights that these firms are succeeding at the Rule’s intended purpose of increasing diversity in top leadership and are significantly outpacing similarly sized non-Mansfield Rule firms in doing so.
- For underrepresented racial and ethnic lawyers, Mansfield 1.0 firms have diversified their Management Committees at more than 30 times the rate of non-Mansfield firms during the 2017-2019 timeframe. Non-Mansfield firms, on average, only saw an overall increase in Management Committee racial diversity of a tenth of one percent (0.13%) over the same timeframe.
- The racial and ethnic diversity of non-Mansfield firms’ Partner Nomination Committees has declined since 2017, while Mansfield 1.0 firms have increased, achieving an overall increase of nearly 4% during the 2017-2019 timeframe. And, importantly, statistical modeling predicts this number will continue to climb for Mansfield firms.
- Racially diverse lawyers at early adopter Mansfield firms are progressing into the partnership at a statistically higher percentage than they were pre-Mansfield. 1.0 firms have also leaped ahead of non-Mansfield firms during the 2017-2019 timeframe; they reached 10.5% racially diverse partners in 2019, while non-Mansfield firms were at 9.1%. This variance is meaningful since all large law firms, on average, only increased by 0.2% each year with regard to racial diversity in their partnerships based on broader data from 2007-2019.
- Women lawyers at early adopter Mansfield firms are progressing into leadership — as part of Management Committees, Partner Review Committees, and the partnership as a whole — at a statistically higher percentage than they were pre-Mansfield. And, as a clear positive trend for the legal profession, broader data from 2007 to 2019 show that both Mansfield and non-Mansfield firms are making upward, steady progress with regard to women in leadership.
Mansfield Rule has grown from 41 participating firms in 2017 to nearly 120 firms, and its focus on inclusive representation in law firm leadership has expanded to include LGBTQ+ lawyers and lawyers with disabilities. There are also new versions crafted specifically for and piloted by more than 20 midsize firms and 50 corporate legal departments. A version for UK law firms launches this spring.
The Mansfield Rule 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 in the Mansfield Rule has also supported these firms in establishing and maintaining new foundational talent practices. These practices and the discipline associated with the 30 percent consideration metric have produced and will sustain these firms’ continued progress.
“These firms have operationalized the Mansfield Rule’s principles so that their achievements are part of a movement rather than a moment. As a result, these gains are not vulnerable to the shifting winds of the marketplace,” said Lisa Kirby, Diversity Lab’s Chief Business Intelligence & Knowledge Sharing Officer.
Individual Firm Outcomes
Many of the recent participating firms’ individual results can be found here.
Additional Certification Benefits
Firms that meet or exceed the required Mansfield Rule parameters are certified and provided with an opportunity to send their newly promoted diverse partners to Client Forums to meet and get to know hundreds of influential legal department leaders.
At the Spring 2021 Mansfield Rule Client Forums, 600+ newly promoted diverse partners met and mingled with more than 240 legal department leaders (aka potential clients) from 85 companies during the virtual events. Diversity Lab also organized 738 pitch sessions for partners from Certified “Plus” firms with in-house leaders from legal departments such as Netflix, Voya Financial, BASF, McDonalds, Chime, First National Bank, PayPal, American Express, HPE, Micron, Accenture, Ford Motor Company, MassMutual, PNC, Uber, Eaton, HP Inc., and Verizon. As a result, the diverse partners gain new business and origination credit — accelerating their path to equity partner and leadership.
Registration for Upcoming Certification Period
Law firms and legal departments interested in registering for the next certification cycle (open now) in the U.S., Canada or the UK can do so by clicking here.
Initial Group of Mansfield Certified 1.0 Firms
|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 Diversity Lab is the sole entity that can use and authorize other parties to use these service marks in connection with diversity programs. 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.