June 28, 2021 / Press Release

Porter Wright continues commitment to law firm diversity program

Porter Wright announced it will continue its commitment to diversity by taking part in the fifth cycle of the Mansfield Rule program. Mansfield Rule 5.0 includes participation growth and expansion into the U.K. market. The Diversity Lab, the organization that manages the program, announced today that more than 160 law firms signed on to the fifth year of the program, which aims to increase the representation of historically underrepresented lawyers in law firm leadership.

The Mansfield Rule program is named after Arabella Mansfield, the first woman lawyer in the United States. It works with firms to consider at least 30% 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.

Porter Wright began participating during cycle three of the program. After its first year in the program, in 2020 the firm earned Mansfield Rule Certification and Mansfield Rule Certification Plus for meeting the goal of considering and achieving at least 30% diverse lawyers in leadership roles.

“Over the past two years, the Mansfield Program has transformed the way our firm recruits associate attorneys and lateral hires, promotes from within and assembles pitch teams,” said Bob Tannous, managing partner of Porter Wright. “We were honored to achieve certification last year, but we know our work is far from over in truly achieving equity in our field.”

Earlier this year, a comparison of firms taking part in the Mansfield Rule program with firms who are not showed Mansfield firms grew racial and ethnic diversity in their leadership by 30 times more than other firms.

“Our participation in this program is truly moving the needle in the legal industry and setting a high bar for other industries to put real work into initiatives like the Mansfield Rule program,” said Joyce Edelman, partner at Porter Wright and member of the group working on the Mansfield Program. “We are thrilled over what we have accomplished and are committed to continue working.”

The fifth cycle of the program will begin in mid-July and now includes law firms in the U.K. Similar to previous years, the Diversity Lab introduces new goals into each new cycle. This year, they added Middle Eastern/North African identity to those being tracked, the requirement to consider at least 30% underrepresented lawyers for nominations to Chambers USA and consideration of 30% underrepresented individuals when hiring and promoting C-level or other senior level staff roles. Later this year, firms will learn if they received certification in the fourth cycle of the program.