What is the Mansfield rule?

Diversity in the workplace remains a focus for many law firms, no matter their size. Inclusivity is not only expected but protected by discrimination laws. The American Bar Association notes that some firms are making use of the Mansfield rule, which deems that at least 30% of any workforce include those of minority status and women. 

Legal firms can broaden their relationships with clients and relate to a wider range of individuals when they earn Mansfield rule certification. 

About the Mansfield rule

The Mansfield rule gets its name from the first woman in the United States history legally allowed to practice law. According to the law, at least some of the women and minorities hired at a law firm must have the ability to apply for several roles, including: 

  • Governance  
  • Leadership 
  • Lateral  

This offers individuals positions that can positively influence the way the firm runs and its views toward diversity. 


Applying the Mansfield rule to any firm may have a variety of benefits, even if it already practices hiring diverse individuals. They may provide attorneys and other employees with viewpoints and human resource ideals not considered in the past. This is one of the main benefits of this rule, as it exposes people to new ideas and outlooks other than their own, which may improve relations with a variety of clients and make the firm more relatable. This may also lower the risk of any diversity or inclusion lawsuits in the workplace, which may otherwise cause tension that affects company productivity. 

There is much lawyers, their clients and law firm employees can learn from the Mansfield rule. To date, the number of firms seeking certification continues to grow. 

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