Press Release
August 20, 2018

Holland & Knight Recognized as “Trailblazer” in Achieving Mansfield Certified Plus from Diversity Lab

MIAMI (August 20, 2018) – One year after signing on to Diversity Lab's Mansfield Rule initiative, a pilot program aimed at increasing the number of women and minority attorneys in leadership roles at law firms, Holland & Knight has now earned “Mansfield Certified Plus” status.

The Mansfield Rule Certification process measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered at least 30 percent women and attorneys of color for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions and senior lateral positions. To achieve certification participating firms had to first establish a baseline metric by which they could assess and analyze their talent pipelines and then track their progress in several categories over a one-year period. In all, 41 firms met the requirements to become “Mansfield Certified.”

Holland & Knight is one of only 27 firms to earn the “Mansfield Certified Plus” designation in the program’s first year. This category recognizes that, in addition to meeting or exceeding the pipeline consideration requirements for certification, these firms have successfully reached at least 30 percent women and minority lawyer representation in a significant number of their current leadership roles and committees.

Firms that are Mansfield Certified Plus will send several recently promoted women or diverse partners to a two-day client forum to build relationships with and learn from influential in-house counsel. More than 55 corporate legal departments are participating in the forums, which are scheduled for this fall in New York, San Francisco and the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

“We are incredibly proud to be part of the first group of law firms to achieve Mansfield Certification Plus,” said Judy Nemsick, chair of Holland & Knight’s Women’s Initiative. “We believe that this initiative has the power to truly transform and influence the leadership structures of law firms and are excited to see more law firms and corporations join the program.”

Additionally, Holland & Knight has enrolled in Mansfield 2.0., which broadens the obligations of participating firms and expands the initiative to include LGTBQ+ attorneys. Ms. Nemsick worked on the Mansfield Rule 2.0 Task Force in developing these changes.

Named after Arabella Mansfield, the first woman admitted to the practice of law in the United States, the Rule originated from the 2016 Women in Law Hackathon hosted by Diversity Lab in collaboration with Bloomberg Law and Stanford Law School. The Rule was inspired by the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires every NFL team to interview at least one minority candidate for head coach vacancies.

About Diversity Lab: Diversity Lab creates and experiments with innovative ways to close the gender gap and boost diversity in law firms and legal departments by leveraging data, behavioral science and design thinking.

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