Global law firm Shearman & Sterling has today received 2021 Mansfield Plus Certification by Diversity Lab, after successfully completing the Mansfield Rule 4.0 certification program. The firm first received Mansfield Rule 3.0 Certification in 2020. The annual Mansfield Rule Certification process measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered at least 30 percent women, lawyers of color, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions. The “Plus” status recognizes that, in addition to meeting the basic certification requirement of candidate pools which are at least 30% historically underrepresented lawyers, the firm has also achieved at least 30% diversity for those who have ultimately been appointed to various strategic leadership positions, promoted to partner, participated in formal pitch meetings and staffed on matters arising from client pitches.
The goal of the Mansfield Rule is to boost the representation of diverse lawyers in law firm leadership by broadening the pool of candidates considered for these opportunities. The Mansfield Rule’s elements and operations are grounded in behavioral science research, including the 30 percent requirement, which researchers have found is the critical mass necessary to disrupt unconscious biases.
“We are proud that Shearman & Sterling has achieved Mansfield Certification Plus, which is an important benchmark as we continue to endeavor to make meaningful change in advancing diverse talent and fostering an inclusive environment in our workplace and in the legal industry,” said David Beveridge, Senior Partner at Shearman & Sterling. “Diversity and inclusion are part of our fabric at Shearman & Sterling, interwoven in everything we do, and the Mansfield certification process is an essential part of our commitment to take concrete actions to diversify our leadership and to amplify diverse voices and perspectives at our firm.”
Shearman & Sterling has also signed onto the next Mansfield Rule iteration, Mansfield 5.0, as it continues to foster long-term inclusion and diversity at the firm.
Diversity Lab is an incubator for innovative ideas and solutions that boost diversity and inclusion in law. Diversity Lab has worked with the participating firms to annually measure the outcomes and iterate the program based on those outcomes to ensure the program is moving toward its goal of diversifying firm leadership as inclusively and impactfully as possible.