Baker Donelson has achieved Mansfield Certification status after completing a 12-month certification program.
The Mansfield Rule Certification measures whether law firms have considered women, attorneys of color, LGBTQ+ attorneys and attorneys with disabilities for recruitment, governance roles, equity partner promotions and inclusion in formal pitch presentations to clients.
The goal of the Mansfield Rule, which was developed by Diversity Lab, is to boost diversity among law firm leadership by broadening the pool of candidates considered for these roles.
Baker Donelson’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair Mark Baugh says adopting the Mansfield Rule was a significant step in furthering the firm’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion.
“The transparency and accountability inherent in the Mansfield Certification process will improve our inclusivity and make this a more welcoming firm where all people can succeed.
“And, although it is not a Mansfield requirement, we’re also looking at ways to extend the same accountability metrics to staff and other positions.”
Since adopting the Mansfield Rule more than a year ago, Baker Donelson established an internal Mansfield Team that built an infrastructure to gather data, collected the necessary information and worked toward certification.
In addition to verifying and committing to at least a 30% diversity threshold in client presentations, the firm implemented job descriptions for senior leaders that include diversity and inclusion accountability metrics and reviewed and updated recruitment processes to ensure representative candidate pools are considered.
“We’re grateful to be among the 100 law firms nationally to achieve this meaningful certification,’’ says Timothy Lupinacci, the firm’s chairman and CEO. “This is one of a number of measures Baker Donelson has undertaken to fulfill our commitment to increasing diversity and inclusion in our firm and to bring about lasting change in the legal profession.’’
Diversity Lab is an incubator for solutions that boost diversity and inclusion in law. Experimental ideas are created through “hackathons” and piloted in collaboration with more than 150 law firms and legal departments across the country.
Source: Baker Donelson