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Sheppard Mullin Among Winning Teams in Diversity in Law Hackathon


Sheppard Mullin participated in the second ever Diversity in Law Hackathon, the largest, most innovative and collective legal community initiative ever launched with the purpose of boosting diversity and inclusion in law firms and legal departments. The “Shark Tank” style competition is organized by Diversity Lab in partnership with Bloomberg Law.

The first event in 2016 led to the creation of the Mansfield Rule, a policy requiring law firms to consider women and minority lawyers when promoting and hiring talent. Dozens of law firms, including Sheppard Mullin, have already implemented a pilot program of that rule.

The Spring 2018 program consisted of nine teams, each comprised of a mix of law firm partners, legal department heads, and Harvard Law students, who were tasked with generating innovative ideas that will lead to an increased pipeline and greater retention and advancement of diverse lawyers.  Teams have been developing their diversity ‘hacks’ since February, and presented their ideas to a panel of judges on June 23 at Harvard Law School. Paul Werner, co-leader of the firm’s Business Trial practice, represented Sheppard Mullin on the “All In” team, whose idea placed third in the competition. 

All In specifically focused on moving the substantial population of bystanders off the sidelines by developing a process, “In.C,” (which stands for Inclusive Culture) that creates a measurable way to track inclusion at any given organization and give individuals concrete actions they can take to promote greater inclusion.  Through the In.C tracker, employees would be able to provide feedback on things such as how much they feel they belong in an organization, how much they trust their team members, and more. Once it’s adopted by enough organizations, the In.C score can be a way for law firms and corporations to demonstrate to the public that they are dedicated to diversity.

Following the 2018 Hackathons, Diversity Lab will spend one year developing the winning ideas for a second round of pilot programs.  At the end of the process, participants will have a number of concrete ideas they can bring back to their organizations for implementation. 

Read Bloomberg Law’s article for more details on the program and the additional winning ideas:


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