Boston, MA. Global 100 law firm Nixon Peabody is pleased to announce it has achieved Mansfield Certification Plus for the fourth consecutive year.
This recognition indicates the firm’s candidate pool for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions includes at least 30% women, lawyers of color, LGBTQ+ attorneys, and lawyers with disabilities—and also that the firm has achieved the 30% goal across the majority of categories. Legal industry incubator Diversity Lab launched the Mansfield Rule to help boost representation of diverse lawyers in firm leadership roles by broadening the pool of candidates considered for these opportunities. The rule helps foster systemic changes necessary to create long-term diversity, inclusion, and equity in the legal profession.
As part of this year’s 4.0 version, Diversity Lab expanded the “Certification Plus” designation to include an indication that at least 30% of the lawyers staffed on matters resulting from formal pitch meetings during the certification period were historically underrepresented lawyers.
“We are a stronger firm when our teams and leaders more accurately reflect our clients and communities,” said Stephen Zubiago, CEO and managing partner of Nixon Peabody. “Fostering more diverse and inclusive teams across our organization is integral to our firm’s DNA, and we continue to make strides to help increase equity within the broader legal profession.”
Nixon Peabody, along with three other firms and more than 25 general counsel, continues to partner with Diversity Lab for the organization’s Move the Needle Fund (MTN), a collaborative effort among these firms, general counsel, and community leaders to create positive change throughout the legal profession. Earlier this year, as part of its participation in MTN, Nixon Peabody launched a workflow management app—the Mansfield Rule for Workflow—that uses technology to mitigate inequity and implicit bias in the attorney work assignment process. The firm also recently evolved its industry-first Diversity Challenge to allow attorneys to obtain billable hour credit for their diversity-related activities.
“While we are proud to be acknowledged for the fourth year in a row for our continued progress, we recognize that there is additional progress to be made,” said Rekha Chiruvolu, Nixon Peabody director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. “Our clients are demanding that we staff their matters with diverse teams who better reflect their customers and the communities they serve. Through our strategic initiatives, including the introduction of new technologies, we are deeply committed to doing the hard, but necessary work ahead to continue building a diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization and profession.”
The Mansfield Rule pays tribute to Arabella Mansfield—the first woman admitted in the United States to practice law—and was inspired by the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which saw minority representation in head-coach roles double in the years after its implementation.
You can read Diversity Lab’s announcement here.