Underscoring WilmerHale’s sustained commitment to diversity and inclusion, the firm recently achieved Mansfield 2.0 Certification Plus status for 2019. WilmerHale is one of 51 law firms in the nation to receive the Diversity Lab’s highest designation for exceeding the requirements for certification.
The Mansfield Rule’s goal is to boost the representation of diverse lawyers in law firm leadership by broadening the pool of candidates considered for such opportunities. To be certified, firms must establish processes to track and assess their talent pipeline to promote more diverse lawyers into leadership and governance roles, including equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities and senior lateral positions. Overall, 64 firms received Mansfield certification.
For firms to earn “plus” status, at least 30 percent of their key leadership and committee positions must be held by lawyers who are women, people of color or LGBTQ+.
The Mansfield Certification, overseen by Diversity Lab, is an initiative patterned after the National Football League’s Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview diverse candidates for head coaching and front-office vacancies. It is named for Arabella Mansfield, the first woman admitted to the practice of law in the United States. The initiative is in its second year, hence “Mansfield 2.0 Certification,” which for the first time included LGBTQ+ candidates.
WilmerHale is one of 90 firms participating in Mansfield 3.0. This next phase, which extends from July 2019 to July 2020, adds lawyers with disabilities to the categories of women, people of color and LGBTQ+ lawyers whose presence in law firms the initiative seeks to expand.