Firm Commits to New Mansfield 5.0 Diversity Goals

July 15, 2021

Declared a Certification Plus firm by Diversity Lab in September 2020, McGuireWoods has now committed to becoming a Mansfield 5.0 firm. This will entail meeting new challenges and further pushing existing boundaries to boost diversity in the firm and its leadership.

McGuireWoods is one of more than 160 law firms in the United States and Canada participating in the yearlong Mansfield 5.0 certification program beginning July 15, 2021. In its June 28, 2021, announcement, Diversity Lab said commitments to the program grew by 90 percent since last year’s program, with more than 45 new participants and expansion into the UK planned for Mansfield 5.0 certification.

The Mansfield Rule has become the standard by which law firms track and measure that they have affirmatively considered at least 30 percent women, lawyers from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, lawyers with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ lawyers for top leadership roles, senior-level lateral hiring, promotions into the equity partnership and participation in client pitch meetings.

The Mansfield 5.0 program includes new challenges for firms seeking certification:

  • Each firm must track its candidate pool in a disaggregated manner, prompting the firm to measure the impact of the Mansfield Rule by each underrepresented group. Firms must also include a self-identification option for Middle Eastern/North African identity, a demographic often overlooked in self-identification options.
  • Firms must consider at least 30 percent underrepresented lawyers for nominations to Chambers USA to increase these lawyers’ external visibility with clients and in the marketplace.
  • Firms must consider 30 percent underrepresented individuals when hiring and promoting C-level or other senior-level professional staff roles.

In addition, law firms pursuing Mansfield Certification Plus as part of the Mansfield 5.0 program — which indicates that they have not only considered, but achieved 30 percent representation of underrepresented lawyers in many of the Mansfield Rule’s categories — will be asked to heighten the transparency of their partner compensation criteria and processes by publishing and making them available to all lawyers in the firm.

Participating in the Mansfield 5.0 program strongly aligns with McGuireWoods’ strategy regarding diversity and inclusion to focus on leadership, not just numbers. The firm’s Diverse Associates Leadership Program and Women’s Leadership Development Forum were designed to equip top-performing associates of color and women and LGBTQ+ associates with the leadership skills essential to their development and advancement into the partnership ranks of the firm.

Several years ago, the firm adopted the Rooney Rule when recruiting associates to ensure that women and attorneys of color are candidates for all open positions managed by the Attorney Recruitment & Professional Development Team. McGuireWoods’ implementation of the Rooney Rule pre-dated the announcement of the Mansfield Rule. The early adoption helped the firm increase the diversity of its associate population, including increased numbers of women, lawyers of color, and lawyers from the LGBTQ+ community. As of July 1, 2021, 64 percent of McGuireWoods associates are historically underrepresented lawyers.

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