Merchant & Gould has achieved Mansfield Certification status for 2020, after completing a 12-month self-study designed to boost the representation of diverse lawyers in firm leadership. Created by Diversity Lab, a data company that leverages research and behavior, the Mansfield Rule certification measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered women, attorneys of color, LGBTQ+ attorneys, and attorneys with disabilities -- at least 30 percent of the candidate pool -- for recruitment, governance roles, equity partner promotions, and inclusion in formal pitch presentations to clients.
“More than ever, it’s important to reaffirm our commitment to each other and to our legal community. We continue the dialog about diversity, inclusion and equality, and we continue to boost diverse leadership and representation,” said Christopher J. Leonard, Merchant & Gould’s Managing Director, CEO, and Chairman of the Board. “The data we have collected during the Mansfield Certification process has been informing new policies and outcomes, benefiting our firm, clients and industry.”
Merchant & Gould was one of 100 law firms completing the certification program, a designation meant to ensure representative promotion processes at law firms -- moving toward a larger goal of diversifying industry-wide leadership as inclusively and effectively as possible. The Mansfield Rule aims to boost the representation of diverse lawyers in law firm leadership by broadening the pool of candidates considered for these roles and opportunities.
“We’ve participated for two years and have already seen changes in more diverse client teams and hiring. We have also opened our firm’s leadership to reflect a broader coalition of attorneys having various backgrounds. It’s more than an initiative to us; these actions are part of our firm’s culture and core values,” added Andrew L. Jagenow, Merchant & Gould’s Diversity Committee Chair.
Merchant & Gould participated in the previous iteration of the Mansfield Rule and achieved Mansfield 2.0 Certification in 2019, in addition to the Version 3.0 just earned. The firm continues its work to advance diversity throughout the legal industry.