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Diversity Lab Certifies Sheppard Mullin for Mansfield Rule 3.0 Plus


Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP is pleased to announce that the firm has achieved Mansfield Rule Certification 3.0 after completing the 12-month certification program, indicating that Sheppard Mullin affirmatively considered at least 30 percent women, lawyers of color, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and attorneys with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions.  Notably, Sheppard Mullin also achieved Mansfield Certification Plus status for the third consecutive year.  The “Plus” designation indicates that Sheppard Mullin has reached at least 30 percent diverse lawyer representation in a notable number of current leadership roles. 

“We continue to witness that diversity within our leadership and on our legal teams yields better and more well-rounded results,” said Guy Halgren, chairman of Sheppard Mullin.  “We are very proud of this certification and to be recognized for our inclusive initiatives and programs, which we work very hard to create and evolve. We remain committed to our partnership with Diversity Lab and look forward to achieving Mansfield 4.0 certification.”

Rena Andoh, Chair of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee and New York partner, added: “We have partnered with Diversity Lab since inception, and we’ve found it to be an incredibly valuable tool to hold us accountable and continue to raise the bar.  This initiative is critical to making a meaningful impact towards advancing diversity and inclusion efforts within the legal industry.”

Some of the key takeaways for firms that have participated in all three certification years include:

  • 96 percent of firms said that after adopting the Mansfield Rule, their teams of lawyers participating in formal pitch meetings have become more diverse.
  • 65 percent of firms reported that more underrepresented lawyers were appointed or elected to their Management/Executive Committee than prior to adopting Mansfield.
  • 63 percent of firms said they have increased the percentage of underrepresented lawyers promoted into equity partnership since adopting Mansfield.
  • 58 percent of firms reported that their lateral partner hiring pool was more diverse following the adoption of Mansfield.

The goal of the Mansfield Rule is to boost the representation of diverse lawyers in law firm leadership by broadening the pool of candidates considered for these opportunities.  The Mansfield Rule Certification 3.0 evolved to include attorneys with disabilities, in addition to women, lawyers of color and LGBTQ+ attorneys.  Sheppard Mullin is also one of the firms nationwide participating in Mansfield 4.0 through July 2021.

Sheppard Mullin’s commitment to diversity and inclusion has been often recognized. Recent achievements include:

  • Named among Yale Law Women’s 2020 Top Firms for Gender Equality and Family Friendliness Report and among the top four firms for LGBTQ+ Representation
  • Named amongWorking Mother Magazine’s 2020 “Best Law Firms for Women”
  • Earned 100% rating by the Human Rights Campaign’s 2020 Corporate Equality Index
  • Noted among the best firms for minority attorneys by Law360 

Background on the Mansfield Rule – The Mansfield Rule is named for Arabella Mansfield, the first woman admitted to the practice of law in the United States-- 150 years ago. It was a winning idea from the 2016 Women in Law Hackathon hosted by Diversity Lab in collaboration with Bloomberg Law and Stanford Law School. It was inspired by the NFL’s Rooney Rule, created by the late Dan Rooney in 2003 and now supported by his son, Art Rooney II, President of the Pittsburgh Steelers and a name partner in law firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney. The Rooney Rule requires every NFL team to interview at least one minority candidate for head coach vacancies. In the years following its implementation, the number of minorities hired to fill head coach roles doubled.

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