Mansfield Rule: Legal Department Edition
Mansfield Rule for Legal Departments Launched to Boost Diversity in Leadership and Outside Counsel Ranks
This new version of the Mansfield Rule, which initially launched in law firms three years ago, measures whether legal departments have affirmatively considered women, LGBTQ+, lawyers with disabilities, and racial/ethnic minority lawyers — at least 50% of the candidate pool — for the legal department’s top roles and for outside counsel representation.
The press release announcing the legal departments certified as part of the 1.0 pilot and those joining 2.0 can be found here.
For details about MRLD 2.0, launched in July 2020, click here.
How It Works
To be Mansfield Certified, legal departments are asked to consider at least 50% historically underrepresented lawyers for 70% or more of the leadership roles and activities identified below.
- External hiring and/or promotions for top role(s) (e.g., General Counsel, Chief Legal Officer)
- External hiring, internal transitions, and/or promotions for senior-tier management (e.g., Reporting to GC – AGC, Deputy GC, Head of Compliance, Legal Operations Chief)
- External hiring, internal transitions, and/or promotions for mid-tier management (e.g., Reporting to senior-tier management)
- External hiring, internal transitions, and/or promotions for other lawyer positions
- Hiring for interns or temporary lawyer positions (e.g., law clerks, summer 1Ls, secondments)
- Discretionary high visibility opportunities (i.e., not tied to a particular role or position) that provide skills building and exposure to internal and external business leaders
- Written and transparent job responsibilities for senior and mid-tier management roles
- Written and transparent processes for advancement opportunities and promotions within the legal department
- Engaging outside counsel for new matters (i.e., lead and/or primary team members)
- Changing or expanding outside counsel representation (i.e., lead and/or primary team members)
For example, if department leaders have identified a short list of five candidates for filling an open senior-tier management position, under the Mansfield Rule guidelines, three of the candidates would need to be historically underrepresented lawyers to count toward Mansfield Certification.
More details follow. To read the 2019 press release, click here.
The overall goal of the Mansfield Rule: Legal Department Edition is to increase the representation of diverse lawyers in leadership by broadening the pool of women, LGBTQ+ lawyers, lawyers with disabilities, and/or racial/ethnic minority lawyers who are considered for legal department job openings, high visibility opportunities and promotions, and outside counsel representation.
Legal Department Early Adopters
Diversity Lab is pleased to have more than 20 trailblazing legal departments piloting the inaugural Mansfield Rule: Legal Department Edition. The 1.0 certification process officially launched on July 1, 2019 and concluded June 30, 2020. Some of the legal departments are highlighted below.
Legal departments interested in learning more or joining the pilot should email Leila Hock at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.