14 September 20205 minute read

DLA Piper receives Mansfield 3.0 Certified Plus status

DLA Piper is pleased to announce that the firm has achieved Mansfield 3.0 Certified Plus status for 2020 as a result of its implementation of the Mansfield Rule, an initiative through which participating law firms consider at least 30 percent diverse lawyers for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions and lateral positions. In its third year, the program expanded to include lawyers with disabilities, along with LGBTQ+ lawyers, women and attorneys of color.

Certified Plus recognition was awarded to firms that, in addition to considering candidate pools made up of at least 30 percent diverse lawyers, have also achieved actual representation of at least 30 percent women, lawyers of color, LGBTQ+ lawyers and lawyers with disabilities in key leadership roles, partner promotions and lateral hires.

“The Mansfield Rule continues to provide action-oriented diversity and inclusion benchmarks for the legal industry,” said Fenimore Fisher, DLA Piper’s chief diversity and inclusion officer. “We are continuing to progress in the areas of hiring, retention and advancement of diverse lawyers. This work is a crucial priority sustaining the success of our firm and service to our clients, and we are proud to be recognized again with the Certified Plus designation.”

“The Mansfield Rule has demonstrated the importance of not only fostering a culture that welcomes diverse backgrounds and perspectives, but also implementing concrete ways to track our progress toward increasing the percentage of diverse lawyers who make up our partnership and higher-level positions in the firm,” said Jackie Park, co-US managing partner of the firm. “It is by analyzing these metrics and striving to improve them year over year that we have been able to make important changes to our hiring and promotion processes, and we will continue these efforts as we head into the next round of the initiative.”

Named after Arabella Mansfield, the first woman admitted to practice law in the United States, the Mansfield Rule was one of the winning ideas from the 2016 Women in Law Hackathon competition hosted by Diversity Lab, in collaboration with Bloomberg Law and Stanford Law School. DLA Piper has participated in every iteration of the initiative, beginning with the inaugural version that launched in mid-2017, and has already committed to participate in the next round of certification, Mansfield 4.0. The Mansfield Rule was inspired by the NFL's highly successful Rooney Rule, named for former Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney, which requires every NFL team to interview at least one minority candidate for head coach vacancies.

Law firms that have achieved Certified or Certified Plus status, including DLA Piper, typically have the opportunity to send their newly promoted diverse partners to a client forum to build relationships with and learn from influential in-house counsel. In early 2021, Diversity Lab plans to hold virtual client forums hosted by legal departments.