For the fourth consecutive year, Womble Bond Dickinson will participate in a legal industry initiative to promote greater law firm diversity by using objective hiring and promotions metrics.

The firm will take part in the Mansfield Rule 5.0 certification process. The goal of the program is to ensure that at least 30 percent of the candidate pool for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions consists of women, lawyers of color, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities. Participating firms collect and report this data to the Diversity Lab, which administers the Mansfield Rule. The project also provides opportunities for firms to learn collaboratively and share best practices related to promoting diversity and inclusion.

The Mansfield Rule continually pushes firms to do more to achieve inclusion and diversity goals. So Mansfield 5.0 has several new requirements, including:

  • Disaggregating candidate pools by each underrepresented group. Firms also must include an option for Middle Eastern/North African identity—a new category for self-identification purposes;
  • Considering at least 30% underrepresented lawyers Chambers USA nominations; and
  • Including at least 30% underrepresented individuals in candidate pools for hiring and promoting C-level or other senior-level professional staff.

The number of law firms participating in this project has grown from 42 in the first cohort to more than 160 in Mansfield 5.0. Results from Mansfield 4.0 will be reported in 2022.

Womble Bond Dickinson achieved Mansfield Plus certification for 2020 as a result of the firm’s participation in Mansfield 3.0. Mansfield 4.0 results will be announced soon by the Diversity Lab.