Armstrong Teasdale Commits to Mansfield Rule 6.0 Certification Process
Armstrong Teasdale will pursue Mansfield Rule 6.0 certification in 2022-2023 in alignment with the firm’s dedication to championing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.
In January 2020, Armstrong Teasdale launched a five-year strategic plan, with inclusion as one of its core goals. Since then, the firm has created a dedicated DEI department, among other key achievements in the area. The department will lead the charge in achieving certification, working alongside firm leadership, various other departments and key stakeholders throughout the firm’s international footprint.
“We are focused on making DEI part of our DNA at Armstrong Teasdale,” said Armstrong Teasdale Vice President of DEI Sonji Young. “Mansfield Certification is just one step in the right direction, and we’re proud to join other firms and legal departments dedicated to advancing diversity in their leadership ranks. This provides us an opportunity not just for organizational commitment to DEI, but also for personal commitment from the top down, which I believe is particularly impactful.”
Introduced by Diversity Lab, an incubator for innovative ideas and solutions that boost diversity and inclusion in law, the Mansfield Rule 6.0 requires law firms to consider at least 30% historically underrepresented lawyers when appointing to leadership roles and promoting into the equity partnership, among a dozen other activities that focus on the path to leadership. Firms must also consider 30% underrepresented talent for C-suite roles. Participating firms share lessons learned with each other through monthly forums, and they must create and publish job descriptions for leadership roles.
To ensure Mansfield’s long-term results, there is an increasingly difficult “Certification Plus” category that evaluates whether firms have achieved diversity in leadership by making advancement and compensation processes transparent internally.
Launched in 2017, the certification’s primary requirement was to consider at least 30% women lawyers and underrepresented racial and ethnic lawyers for leadership roles. Versions 2.0 through 5.0 expanded the certification to include LGBTQ+ lawyers and lawyers with disabilities as well as critical pipeline activities (e.g., pitch teams, senior-level lateral hiring), transparent leadership role descriptions and more.
The process will require annual recertification, and the firm will need to meet routine check-in, data-collection and reporting milestones.
Armstrong Teasdale is an active Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) member firm, a member of the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA) and a seven-time honoree of the Human Rights Campaign, having earned a 100% in their annual Corporate Equality Index.