Labor & Employment » Law Firms Follow NFL’s Lead To Diversify

Law Firms Follow NFL’s Lead To Diversify

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In a rule meant to echo the National Football League’s “Rooney Rule” – which requires at least one minority be among those interviewed for positions as head coach or general manager – thirty large law firms are implementing the “Mansfield Rule” in hiring. Arabella Mansfield was the first woman admitted to practice law in the U.S., and the rule given her name will require that 30 percent of the law firms’ leadership candidates be minorities and women. The rule will apply to candidates for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, and lateral positions. The rule was initially proposed by Munger, Tolles & Olson partner Mark Helm, and was conceived as a way to boost the number of women in law firm leadership positions. Since Helm proposed the rule, at last year’s Women in Law Hackathon, it has been expanded to become a 30-percent requirement covering all minorities. Among the law firms implementing the rule are: Akerman; Dentons; DLA Piper; Fish & Richardson; Seyfarth Shaw; WilmerHale; and Winston & Strawn.

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