Boston, MA. Nixon Peabody has partnered with Diversity Lab to pilot the Mansfield Rule, a new diversity initiative that measures whether participating firms have affirmatively considered women and attorneys of color for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions and lateral positions.
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. In the years following its implementation, the number of minorities hired to fill head-coach roles doubled.
“Creating a culture that fully embraces differences and promotes inclusion ensures that our organization is able to handle the changes ahead and enables us to anticipate our clients’ needs in an ever-changing world,” said Andrew Glincher, Nixon Peabody CEO and managing partner. “By adding the Mansfield Rule to our growing list of diversity and inclusion efforts, we move even closer to our goal of being a truly inclusive workplace.”
Firms that consider women and attorneys of color for more than 70 percent or more of existing leadership committees and roles open during the review period become “Mansfield Certified.” These roles include equity partner promotions, lateral partner and mid/senior level associate searches, practice group and office leadership, management/executive committee, partner nominations committee, compensation committee and chairperson/managing partner.
Approximately 30% of Nixon Peabody’s management team is women, almost 60% of the firm’s most recent partnership class is women or minority attorneys and more than 40% of the office managing partners are diverse attorneys.
“Signing onto the Mansfield Rule is a natural extension of our existing diversity initiatives,” Rekha Chiruvolu, Nixon Peabody’s diversity and inclusion manager. “While we have made progress in increasing the number of women and minority attorneys in our leadership ranks, we know we can continue to build on our progress, and the Mansfield Rule provides us with the opportunity to take specific steps toward creating more opportunities for women and minority attorneys to be leaders within our firm.”