Program measures firm’s efforts to diversify hiring and advancement practices
After a 12-month process tracking diversity efforts, Frost Brown Todd (FBT) is one of the first Mid-American law firms to earn Mansfield Rule Certification. Mansfield Rule 3.0, developed by Diversity Lab, measured efforts FBT took to boost the representation of diverse lawyers in leadership by broadening the pool of candidates. In order to gain certification, the firm had to prove it considered at least 30 percent women, lawyers of color, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and those with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions. FBT was evaluated from July 2019 to July 2020.
“Earning Mansfield Rule Certification is an intense process, and we are grateful for the guidance the certification process is providing us as we continue to create a diverse and inclusive environment at FBT,” said the chair of FBT’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Kimera Hall. “We are also voluntarily analyzing our data at a granular level, to ensure that the Mansfield criteria are not satisfied with gender diversity alone. We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion for all.”
Since the Mansfield Rule launched in 2017, it has certified 117 firms. It is named for Arabella Mansfield, the first woman in the U.S. admitted to the practice of law 150 years ago. It was inspired by the NFL’s Rooney Rule, created by the late Dan Rooney in 2003. 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.
“Mansfield Certification gives us an ongoing tool that ensures we are meeting and exceeding our internal diversity goals,” said FBT Chairman Robert V. Sartin. “Since implementing the Mansfield Rule, we have recruited and hired 28% more diverse lateral partners. In addition, we have recruited and hired 18.8% more diverse senior associates.”