20 August 2018
Clifford Chance – a Mansfield Rule law firm pioneer – certified for 2018
Clifford Chance, a law firm with market-leading positions in a number of US and Americas practice areas, today announced it has achieved Mansfield Certification for 2018, a year after agreeing to be a pioneering US firm for the Mansfield Rule. To be certified in Mansfield 2.0 a law firm must, among other things, consider a minimum of 30 percent women, LGBT+ and minority lawyers for significant leadership roles.
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. Diversity Lab partnered with 44 of the country’s leading law firms to pilot the inaugural version of the Mansfield Rule from Summer 2017 through mid-2018. There are now 65 law firms participating in the 2.0 version that runs from July 2018 to July 2019.
"We are proud to have met the criteria for certification under the Mansfield Rule," said Evan Cohen, managing partner for Clifford Chance's Americas region. "One-third of our US practice areas are led by a minority or woman partner and our pipeline of diverse future leaders is robust. Nearly 40 percent of Clifford Chance US associates are ethnic minorities and 46 percent are women. Additionally, 60 percent of our US Business Services departments are led by women. We are clearly on the right track, but we also know there is more we must accomplish in the years ahead and are committed to doing so."
The Mansfield Rule was inspired by the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires every NFL team to interview at least one minority candidate for head coach and other front office vacancies. In the years following its implementation, the number of minorities hired to fill head-coaching roles doubled.
Mansfield Certification is the latest step in Clifford Chance's ongoing efforts to expand its number of diverse leaders. In April 2017 the Firm partnered with legal directory Legal 500 to produce Advice To My Younger Self: Reflections of Successful Women Lawyers. The book features interviews with 27 Clifford Chance women and alumnae from the US and around the world; it has already been viewed online by more than 10,000 people. In October of this year, Clifford Chance will be the Diamond Sponsor of ALM Media's Executive Leadership Forum, which kicks off this year's "Women, Influence & Power In Law" conference in Washington, D.C. Each of the expected 500 conference attendees will receive a hard copy of Advice To My Younger Self as part of the Firm's ongoing commitment to help women lawyers advance their careers. Clifford Chance partner Wendy Wysong will deliver the opening remarks at the Executive Leadership Forum, and counsel Alice Kane – a former group general counsel at two Fortune 100 insurers – will moderate the Forum's opening panel, "Leadership and Transformation of Today’s GC: From the Eyes of the C-Suite."
Clifford Chance has an active US Diversity Committee comprising partners, associates and Business Services colleagues who work collaboratively on issues facing diverse colleagues. Led by the head of the Firm's Americas Banking & Finance practice, partner Zarrar Sehgal, the US Diversity Committee is made up of five subgroups: Arcus (LGBT+), Asian and Pacific Islanders, Black and Latino, Veterans and Women.
"We are a firm that celebrates our diversity and works hard to promote greater understanding and inclusiveness," said Sehgal. "In addition to being the right thing to do, it also helps us bring a better-informed outlook when advising clients both in the US and globally."