Ballard Spahr Achieves Mansfield 5.0 Plus Certification From Diversity Lab
Ballard Spahr has achieved Mansfield Rule 5.0 Certification Plus in recognition of the firm’s commitment to—and achievement of—increased diversity, equity, and inclusion in firm leadership roles, certifying organization Diversity Lab announced today.
The “Plus” designation is awarded to firms that have not only considered, but achieved 30 percent representation of underrepresented lawyers in Mansfield Rule leadership-role categories.
Diversity Lab—an incubator for innovative solutions to boost diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal industry—created and administers Mansfield Rule Certification. The goal is to boost representation of historically underrepresented lawyers in law firm leadership. Now entering its fifth year, the Mansfield Rule has become the standard by which law firms track and measure that they have affirmatively considered at least 30 percent women, lawyers from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, lawyers with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ lawyers for top leadership roles, senior-level lateral hiring, promotions into the equity partnership, and participation in client pitch meetings.
Plus designation indicates that, in addition to meeting or exceeding the baseline certification requirements, a firm has successfully achieved the 30 percent standard.
“We’re proud of this affirmation of Ballard Spahr’s longstanding commitment and encouraged by confirmation that we are making significant progress through our sustained efforts to boost diversity, equity, and inclusion at the firm and in the industry,” firm Chair Mark Stewart said. “We intend to continue building on our success.”
Ballard Spahr is among more than 160 firms that participated in the Mansfield Rule 5.0 Certification process that launched in July 2021. Diversity Lab measures Mansfield Rule Certification parameters twice yearly through a data collection process and structured check-in meetings with firm representatives.
The latest Mansfield Rule 5.0 certification included new challenges, meant to push the boundaries necessary to boost diversity in law firm leadership. For instance, new for Mansfield 5.0, firms were required to consider at least 30 percent underrepresented lawyers for nominations to Chambers USA as a way to increase external visibility of underrepresented lawyers with clients and in the marketplace more broadly.
“Ballard Spahr has been working hard and strategically at all levels of the firm to build diverse talent, a culture of inclusion, and an environment of equity,” said Virginia G. Essandoh, Ballard Spahr’s Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer. “The Mansfield Certification criteria provide a benchmark to measure our progress. We’re proud to work with Diversity Lab to continuously improve.”
Ms. Essandoh added that, in addition to the firm’s genuine commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels, certification was facilitated by efficient and consistent tracking of data by administrative departments firm-wide and by technology developed by the firm’s Client Value and Innovation Department.
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