Press Release
September 25, 2017

Goodwin Adopts Mansfield Rule to Drive Diversity in Leadership Roles and Lateral Hiring


Goodwin, a leading Global 50 law firm, announced today that it has signed on to Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule, a pioneering initiative that helps law firms diversify candidate pools for significant leadership positions. It measures whether law firms have achieved 30 percent slate diversity when considering qualified candidates for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions and lateral positions.

The Mansfield Rule currently encompasses ethnic and gender diversity and is focused primarily on the U.S. marketplace. In addition to piloting the Mansfield Rule as written, Goodwin will also implement an initiative to enhance the LGBT diversity of its candidate slates, and will seek to apply the Mansfield Rule in all geographic regions where permitted by local law. Diversity Lab is also working on a plan to incorporate LGBT candidates into future iterations of the Mansfield Rule, and has convened an advisory council of participating firms – Goodwin was the first to sign on – to help determine the best way to broaden the Rule going forward.

“Implementing the Mansfield Rule is a natural next step in Goodwin’s forward-thinking diversity and inclusion initiatives,” said David Hashmall, Chairman of Goodwin and head of the firm’s Inclusion Advisory Committee. “We believe that adopting the Rule will facilitate a more rigorous approach to identifying, documenting and addressing diversity-related gaps in the composition of our partnership and leadership, and will help ensure the support and investment needed for talented attorneys to rise to significant leadership positions.”

The Rule is named after Arabella Mansfield, the first woman admitted to the practice of law in the United States. It was one of the winning ideas from the 2016 Women in Law Hackathon, in which Goodwin participated. The firm also partners with Diversity Lab on its OnRamp Fellowship program, which provides a path for women lawyers to re-enter the legal field after stepping away from the practice of law for a period of time.