Once again, McGuireWoods has achieved Mansfield Certification Plus status after completing a 12-month certification program, from July 2022 to June 2023, thereby fulfilling a commitment to increase firmwide inclusivity and diversity in leadership.
Now entering its seventh year, the Mansfield Rule has become the standard by which law firms track and measure whether they have affirmatively considered at least 30% women, lawyers from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, lawyers with disabilities and LGBTQ+ attorneys for top leadership roles, senior-level lateral hiring, promotions into the equity partnership and participation in client pitch meetings. To increase transparency and broaden the slate of talent considered for opportunities, these firms’ advancement processes and leadership role descriptions are now written, clear and accessible to all qualified lawyers.
According to an Oct. 10, 2023, announcement from Diversity Lab, more than 240 law firms in the United States and Canada became Mansfield certified for 2022-2023. Nearly one-half of these firms, including McGuireWoods, qualified for “Mansfield Certification Plus,” meaning they voluntarily measure the outcomes of their inclusive processes and have achieved positive results.
“At a time when efforts to expand opportunities to underrepresented groups are needed now more than ever, these Mansfield firms are making their advancement processes more open and transparent,” said Alyssa Jarvis, director of Mansfield and strategic innovations at Diversity Lab. “The firms honored for achieving Certification have articulated and broadened the paths to leadership. The expectations, and avenues to success, have never been clearer. And this commitment to transparency benefits everyone. I am proud to work with each of these firms.”
McGuireWoods already has committed to participating in the current version of the program, which runs from July 2023 to June 2024. Participating in the Mansfield 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, 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 were 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 of the Rooney Rule helped the firm increase the diversity of its associate population, including increased numbers of women, lawyers of color, and lawyers from the LGBTQ+ community.