CBA Record January-February 2022
The Mansfield Rule The Mansfield Rule, a project run by the Diversity Lab, is a 12-month certification process that aims to boost the represen- tation of historically underrepresented lawyers in law firm leadership. The Mansfield Rule measures whether firms have considered 30% women, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities for top leadership roles, equity partner promo- tions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions. It is named after Arabella Mansfield, the first female lawyer in the U.S., and was inspired by the NFL’s Rooney Rule, a policy that encourages NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate for head coaching positions. The Mansfield Rule project recently announced that all 118 firms achieved certification for the first time. In addi- tion, 92 of the firms achieved Mans- field Rule Plus certification, ensuring that 30% of lawyers staffed on matters
resulting from formal pitch meetings also come from these same historically underrepresented groups. The Diversity Lab also reported that Mansfield-certified firms saw an increase in diverse lawyer leadership from 8.6 to 12.6% in the 2017–2019-time frame, compared to a much smaller increase (from 8.6 to 8.7%) for non-Mansfield certified firms. The CBA’s DICE Initiative The CBA’s launch this year of its Diver- sity, Inclusion, Culture, Equity and Engagement (DICE) initiative, led by Justice Michael B. Hyman and CBA Board Member Nina Fain, is another positive DEI development. DICE will examine diversity issues impacting our communities and our legal profession. The initiative aims to create activities and events to promote diversity, inclu- sivity, equity, and engagement in all aspects of the CBA. What more can the legal profession
do to advance and promote DEI? For starters, do we really need to be reminded that DEI must be embraced by all of us and not delegated to women and people of color? DEI must be a priority and part of a sustained, collective, ongoing effort that we all must work at together each day in government, companies, firms, not-for-profit organizations, law schools, and bar associations. When it comes to the importance of DEI in the legal profession, we know better, and we can do better. Sage advice on what lawyers must do comes from Justice Michael B. Hyman speaking at the CBA’s recent programs on hate—he advised everyone that at a minimum, lawyers need to “step up, stand up, and speak up” to defend against racism and hate in our communities. This is the kind of action we can take each day to improve not only our legal profession but the communities where we live and work.
On Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a Friend of the CBA
By Judge E. Kenneth Wright, Jr.
ArchbishopDesmondTutu, who died inDecember, spoke at a CBA luncheon onMarch 9, 2009, duringmy time as president. His topic was violence’s dam- aging effect, especially on children. To the CBA family and the public, he said, “Whenwe see the face of a child, we think of the future.We think of their dreams about what theymight become, andwhat theymight accomplish. It is our moral obligation to give every child the very best education possible. Children learn about the nature of the world from their family. They learn about power and about justice, about peace and about com- passion within the family. Whether we oppress or liberate our children in our relationships with themwill determine whether they grow up to oppress and be oppressed or liberate and be liberated.” Archbishop Tutu’s message on why we must eliminate violence in our soci- ety remains a collective duty, one which our profession must continue to address and remedy.
CBA RECORD 7
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