International law firm Dorsey & Whitney is one of 39 leading law firms partnering with Diversity Lab to pilot the “Mansfield Rule”. Named after Arabella Mansfield, the first woman admitted to the practice of law in the United States, the Mansfield Rule measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered women and attorneys of color — at least 30 percent of the candidate pool — for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, and lateral positions.

The Mansfield Rule was one of the winning ideas from the 2016 Women in Law Hackathon hosted by Diversity Lab in collaboration with Bloomberg Law and Stanford Law School. It was inspired by the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which was created by the late Dan Rooney in 2003. The Rooney Rule requires every NFL team to interview at least one minority candidate for head coach vacancies.

“Dorsey understands the strength that comes from a diverse and inclusive workplace. It contributes to the success of our people and our clients and enriches our experience,” said Ken Cutler, Dorsey’s Managing Partner. “Dorsey provides each individual an equal opportunity to succeed and contribute, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or physical ability.”

Law firms that successfully pilot the Mansfield Rule over the next year will be designated “Mansfield Certified” and have the opportunity to send their recently promoted diverse partners to a two-day Client Forum in late 2018 to build relationships with and learn from influential in-house counsel.

“Diversity is not a numbers game. It’s an active, intentional process to incorporate the needs and viewpoints of diverse communities into all aspects of the Firm,” noted Cornell Leverette Moore, Firm-wide Diversity Co-Chair. “Law firms are a people business. For the people of Dorsey to best contribute to our clients’ successes, we must bring together diverse backgrounds and life experiences that reflect the communities and clients we serve,” said Rebecca Bernhard, Firm-wide Diversity Co-Chair.

For more information on the Mansfield Rule, see Diversity Lab’s news release.