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Katten Called "Trailblazing" for Its Diversity Efforts

Firm News | August 20, 2018

(CHICAGO) Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP announced today that the firm has achieved certification for completing the Mansfield Rule pilot program, which measures law firm efforts to increase the number of female and diverse attorneys among their ranks.

Diversity Lab's Mansfield Rule is modeled after the National Football League's Rooney Rule which requires NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate for head coach vacancies. The Mansfield Rule, named after the first woman admitted to practice law in the United States, is intended to increase the representation of diverse lawyers in law firm leadership. The certification measures whether women and attorneys of color made up at least 30 percent of the candidate pool for firm leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions and senior lateral positions.

"Our participation in this program illustrates Katten's ongoing commitment to keeping diversity at the forefront of our thinking when making key decisions," said Katten Chairman Roger P. Furey. "We have long understood the value of more inclusion in the workplace, and we are proud to be recognized as a leader in this important effort."

Katten is one of 41 "trailblazing" law firms to achieve Mansfield certification, according to the Diversity Lab, an incubator for innovative ideas and solutions that boost diversity and inclusion in the legal field. The Mansfield Rule was a winning idea from Diversity Lab's 2016 Women in Law Hackathon, a competition among legal leaders to work together in creating innovative ideas and solutions to improve retention and advancement of women in law firms.

"We want to retain, support and empower our talented attorneys and in doing so eliminate any barriers to achieving professional success and reaching their career goals," said Katten's Chief Diversity Partner Leslie D. Minier. "The Mansfield Rule has been instrumental in helping our firm and others identify high-potential diverse lawyers to place them on the radar as candidates for promotions and leadership opportunities."

Certified firms established a baseline metric by which they could assess and analyze their talent pipelines, track and measure their progress, and identify areas for improvement.

"Diversity in law firms has been stagnant for decades, so we didn't expect to change law firm cultures overnight," said Lisa Kirby, director of Research & Knowledge Sharing at Diversity Lab. "Although, as a result of the Mansfield Rule, all of the 41 Mansfield certified firms are now tracking their candidate pipelines for every single path that leads to leadership. And a significant number of firms have increased the diversity of these pipelines, which is a positive step towards diversifying their next generation of leaders."

Katten also is a participating firm in the recently launched 2.0 iteration of the Mansfield Rule to include LGBTQ+ lawyers as well as women and attorneys of color as part of the diverse candidate pool. Mansfield 2.0 will also measure consideration for roles in client pitch meetings and will ask participating law firms to make appointment and election processes transparent to all lawyers in their firms.

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