September 13, 2021 / Press Release

Steady commitment to boost diversity earns Porter Wright ‘Mansfield Rule Certification Plus’ status for second straight year

It takes passion, collaboration and thoughtful action toward change to pursue diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. To aid in this endeavor, Porter Wright joined the Mansfield RuleTM effort to help increase and sustain a more diverse and inclusive workforce within its law firm and beyond in the legal profession. In its second year of participation, Porter Wright is proud to announce it has again achieved Mansfield Rule Certification and Mansfield Rule Certification Plus for successfully reaching at least 30% diverse lawyer representation in a notable number of the firm’s leadership roles.

“For Porter Wright as a firm to be a part of this imperative shift across the legal industry is invigorating and inspiring,” shared Deb Boiarsky, chief operating partner at Porter Wright. “Our firm has thoughtfully created and adopted policies, procedures and programs to weave diversity, equity and inclusion into our everyday practices. Achieving Mansfield Rule Certification Plus reminds us that while there is still work to be done, we are making strides toward systemic change in our own hallways and in the profession.”

Two years of partnership and progress

In 2019, Porter Wright first sought Mansfield Rule certification as a way to work alongside other like-minded firms to boost the representation of diverse lawyers in law firm leadership. For two years now, Porter Wright has collaborated with DiversityLab on multiple audits to share data towards achieving the Rules’ requirements. This includes measurements of whether the firm has considered at least 30% women lawyers, attorneys of color, LGBTQ+ attorneys and lawyers with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities and lateral hires.

“As a Mansfield Rule participant, our goal is to propel our firm forward in being the most welcoming, diverse place possible to work and do business with,” said Joyce Edelman, partner and former chair of the firm’s Women’s Leadership Initiative. “Improving the recruitment, retention and promotion of underrepresented attorneys allows us to attract the best talent, enhance client services and enrich our workplace and communities.”

More than 100 firms commit to Mansfield Rule effort

After its first year of participation, Porter Wright was the only central Ohio-based law firm to earn Mansfield Rule Certification and Mansfield Rule Certification Plus as part of Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule 3.0 program. Porter Wright then committed to the next cycle of Mansfield Rule certification, Mansfield Rule 4.0, alongside 117 other law firms. After its second full year of participation, Porter Wright has again achieved Mansfield Rule Certification and Mansfield Rule Certification Plus. And, Porter Wright has already started its engagement in Mansfield Rule 5.0.

“Participating in the Mansfield Rule certification process requires extreme transparency and holds us accountable to our DE&I goals,” shared Karim Ali, partner and chief diversity officer for the firm. “We are proud of the steps we are taking and the changes we are making, and we will continue to push the envelope when it comes to elevating the diversity of our hiring practices and inclusivity of our workplace. The challenging work will continue.”

Unified for change

According to Diversity Lab, “Through the Mansfield Rule, we are making progress collectively, rather than working in isolation.” With over 100 firms across the United States committed to this intentional effort of collecting and sharing data on their hiring, retention and promotion efforts, positive outcomes — both on the collective and individual levels — prove that a more fair, just and equitable workplace is within reach.

Collective, nationwide firm outcomes following the adoption of the Mansfield Rule include:

  • 94% of participating firms report their candidate pool for pitch teams is more diverse
  • 79% of firms report their lateral partner hiring pool is more diverse
  • 76% said their equity partner promotions pool is more diverse
  • 92% of the firm’s heads of offices were diverse
  • 37% of the firm’s equity partners were diverse
  • 33% of the firm’s promoted attorneys were diverse
  • 48% of the firm’s pitch team members were diverse

Porter Wright is proud to share that within the year-long certification period ending in July 2021, the firm satisfied 100% of the Mansfield Rule certification criteria, including:

  • 75% of the firm’s heads of offices were diverse
  • 37% of the firm’s equity partners were diverse
  • 33% of the firm’s promoted attorneys were diverse
  • 48% of the firm’s pitch team members were diverse

Ready to keep working

Porter Wright’s latest Mansfield Rule Certification Plus announcement comes on the heels of the firm forming an LGBTQ+ Business practice group to work with business owners in a wealth of areas to help their businesses succeed. The firm also is a member of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Business Coalition for Equality and was ranked by HRC once again as one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Employees” in 2021. The firm offers several employee resource groups that provide mentorship opportunities and personal development and leadership training for women lawyers, lawyers of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, caregivers and veterans.

More information about Porter Wright’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts may be found on our website.

View Diversity Lab’s September 2021 Mansfield Rule 4.0 Certified press release.

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