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Sheppard Mullin Earns Mansfield Certification for its Efforts in Driving Diversity in Leadership Roles and Lateral Hiring

August 21, 2018

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP is pleased to announce that the firm has achieved Mansfield Certification from Diversity Lab, an incubator for innovative ideas and solutions that boost diversity and inclusion in law, and is one of just 27 to earn the Mansfield Certified Plus designation for 2018.

Following the certification program’s one-year pilot, the Mansfield Certification was awarded to 41 firms that adopted or complied with the Mansfield Rule, an initiative through which participating law firms consider at least 30 percent women and attorneys of color for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, and senior lateral positions. The Mansfield Certified Plus designation was awarded to firms, including Sheppard Mullin, that in addition to considering diverse candidate pools, have achieved actual representation of at least 30 percent women and lawyers of color in key leadership roles, equity partner promotions and lateral hires.

Named after Arabella Mansfield, the first woman admitted to practice law in the United States, the Mansfield Rule was inspired by the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires every NFL team to interview at least one minority candidate for head coach vacancies.  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.  Sheppard Mullin participated in its Spring 2018 program and was among the team whose idea placed third.

Mansfield Certified firms made meaningful progress in diversifying firmwide, following adoption of the Mansfield Rule, specifically:

  • 40 percent of the participating firms increased the representation of women and diverse lawyers in leadership and governance roles;
  • 33 percent increased the number of women and diverse senior associates hired;
  • 35 percent increased the number of women and diverse partners hired; and
  • 38 percent increased the number of women and diverse lawyers promoted to partner.

Sheppard Mullin is one of the 65 firms nationwide piloting Mansfield 2.0 through 2018, which expands on the Mansfield Rule to include LGBTQ lawyers, and it will also measure consideration for roles in client pitch meetings and will ask participating law firms to make appointment and election processes transparent to all lawyers in their firms.

Sheppard Mullin has been recognized as a leading law firm for diversity in The American Lawyer magazine’s “Diversity Scorecard,” Law360’s “Best Law Firms for Minority Attorneys” list, and Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s “Corporate Equality Index,” among others.