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Blank Rome Continues Partnership with Diversity Lab to Pilot 'Mansfield Rule 2.0'

Diversity Lab

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that it has signed on to pilot Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule 2.0, which begins this month. Blank Rome and other leading law firms began piloting the inaugural Mansfield Rule 1.0 last summer, which measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered women  and minority lawyers—at least 30 percent of the candidate pool—for promotions, senior-level hiring, and significant leadership roles within their respective firms. 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.

Beginning July 2018, Mansfield Rule 2.0 will extend the initiative to include LGBTQ+ attorneys and broaden the definition of minority lawyers. In order to granularly define racial and ethnic diversity, participating firms can now use a list developed by Project Include, a more inclusive alternative to the categories used by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This list includes Middle Eastern as an ethnicity and breaks down broader categories, such as Asian American, into sub-groups, such as East Asian, South Asian, and others. The updated Mansfield Rule will also measure consideration for participation in client pitch meetings and request that participating law firms make appointment and election processes transparent to all lawyers in their firms.

“We have been grateful to work closely with Caren Ulrich Stacy and the Diversity Lab team to put their innovative programs into practice over the past several years, and are proud to continue to pilot the latest version of the Mansfield Rule,” said Alan J. Hoffman, Blank Rome’s Chairman and Managing Partner. “The Mansfield Rule directly aligns with our diversity and inclusion efforts and leadership development initiatives, and having the opportunity to join with peer law firms and legal departments to make a real impact in the industry is very exciting.”

In addition to the Mansfield Rule, Blank Rome is a member of Diversity Lab’s Women in Law Hackathon Alliance and participated in the inaugural 2016 Women in Law Hackathon as well as the recent 2018 Diversity in Law Hackathon. The Hackathons are Shark Tank-style competitions that bring together law firms and legal departments from top companies across the country to hack the legal industry’s toughest diversity and inclusion challenges. In 2014, the Firm also joined Diversity Lab’s OnRamp Fellowship, a re-entry platform that matches experienced lawyers returning to the workforce after a career hiatus with law firms and legal departments in the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom for year-long paid positions. As a result, the Firm welcomed Kathy Herman through the program in 2015. 

The Mansfield Rule was inspired by the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which was created by the late Dan Rooney in 2003 and is now supported by his son, Art Rooney II, President of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Rooney Rule requires every NFL team to interview at least one minority candidate for head coach vacancies. In the years following its implementation, the number of minorities hired to fill head-coach roles doubled.