Once again, Fish & Richardson has received the highest designation of Mansfield Rule — 5.0 Certified Plus — from Diversity Lab for successfully attaining at least 30% diverse lawyer representation in a notable number of current leadership roles.
“Since its inception, the Mansfield Rule has moved the needle of diversity and representation across law firm leadership,” said Fish Chief Operating Officer Kristine McKinney. “For pioneering firms such as Fish, participation in the Mansfield Certification process is an important tool for creating benchmarks for DEI initiatives and challenging ourselves and our peers to outpace expectations and goals.”
The Mansfield Rule certification measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered at least 30% women, attorneys of color, LGBTQ+ attorneys, and lawyers with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions. The goal of the Mansfield Rule is to boost the representation of diverse lawyers in law firm leadership by broadening the pool of candidates considered for these opportunities.
Fish’s designation comes after a 12-month certification process, which included frequent firm check-ins, data collection, and ongoing collaboration through monthly group knowledge sharing meetings. The firm has achieved certified status every year since participating in the Mansfield Rule’s inaugural pilot in 2017.
Mansfield’s data-driven certification process is grounded in behavioral science research. For example, the 30% consideration requirement was identified by researchers who found that it is the critical mass necessary to disrupt biases.
“Fish is deeply committed to diversifying our next generation of law firm leaders and we are proud to have partnered with Diversity Lab in the Mansfield Rule certification since its launch in 2017,” said Ahmed J. Davis, principal and national chair of Fish’s Diversity & Inclusion initiative. “At Fish, one of the ways we measure the success of our objectives is with data, and the Mansfield Rule has become one of the foundations of these metrics — a benchmark by which to quantify our systemic change management practices. We know that diverse teams increase the quality of legal service we provide to our clients, and as a top IP law firm, it’s our social and professional responsibility to diversify our future leaders.”
Diversity and inclusion is a priority at Fish. To further this commitment, the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan provides benchmarks to promote a creative, respectful, and inclusive culture that values the diversity of people, experiences, perspectives, talents, and capabilities, allowing Fish to thrive. Recognizing that diverse backgrounds provide unique perspectives and having a team that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve enhances the quality of legal services we provide to our clients, we work hard to attract, retain, and advance diverse legal staff.
The firm also has several diversity, equity, and inclusion affinity and allyship groups and programs, including a multifaceted Racial Justice Initiative, which includes increased training, a comprehensive resource hub, and increased racial justice pro bono and community engagement. In 2022, attorneys, technology specialists, and directors across 12 Fish offices gathered in-person to engage in roundtable discussions, attend business development workshops, and cultivate relationships by spending time with each other and with their affinity groups. Additionally, Fish’s EMPOWER Women’s Initiative addresses issues unique to women in the legal profession, increases opportunities for networking and mentoring relationships, and provides tools and resources to position the firm’s women for success.
Earlier this year, Fish was named a Best Place to Work by the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, among other honors.