September 15, 2020 / Press Release

Porter Wright achieves Mansfield Rule Certification and Mansfield Certification Plus status

Porter Wright is among 67 major law firms nationwide and the only central Ohio-based law firm to have earned Mansfield Rule Certification and Mansfield Certification Plus. The firm earned this achievement for improving the recruitment, retention and promotion of underrepresented lawyers.

The Mansfield Program was developed by the Diversity Lab and is named after the first woman lawyer in the U.S., Arabella Mansfield. Participating firms are required to track the consideration of at least 30 percent women, lawyers of color, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities for key leadership roles. It is modeled after the successful “Rooney Rule” in the NFL that required at least one or more underrepresented minority candidates be considered for open coaching and other head office positions.

Porter Wright earned Mansfield Rule certification for meeting the goal of considering at least 30% diverse lawyers for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities and senior lateral positions. In addition to these milestones, the firm earned Mansfield Rule Certification Plus for achieving representation of at least 30% diverse lawyers in a large number of key leadership roles and lateral hiring. The firm is proud to share that:

  • 75% of Porter Wright’s heads of offices are diverse
  • 34% of our equity partners are diverse
  • More than 50% of the members of all leadership committees are diverse
  • 47% of pitch team members are diverse

The certification comes just after Porter Wright was ranked in the top ten of the 2020 A-List: Female Equity Partner Scorecard, a ranking of the percent of female equity partners in the Am Law 200. According to the ranking, Porter Wright was ranked tenth with 26.8% of the firm’s equity partners women.

“We are so proud of what we have accomplished but our hard work is far from over,” said Joyce Edelman, partner at Porter Wright and chair of the firm’s Women’s Leadership Initiative. “We will continue to strive to move the needle of diversity, equity and inclusion at Porter Wright and in the legal industry to achieve our goals of making real and lasting change.”

In a press release released on Sept. 15, 2020, the Diversity Lab noted the unique challenges the past year has presented.

“We are incredibly proud of these firms that remained steadfastly focused on inclusivity through the Mansfield Rule as the pandemic and its implications disrupted so many business processes,” said Lisa Kirby, Chief Intelligence & Knowledge Sharing Officer at Diversity Lab. “And the shattering examples of racial injustice we’ve witnessed this summer caused many firms to further deepen their commitment to taking direct action to equalize the playing field in law firm leadership.”

Porter Wright continued its participation in the Mansfield Program in July 2020 and committed to the next cycle.

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