Booz Allen Joins Mansfield Rule Certification Pilot to Increase Diversity and Inclusion in Legal Departments

Sep 2, 2020 8:00 AM ET

The Mansfield Rule is designed to diversify leadership in the legal profession. The original concept emerged in 2016 from a Diversity Lab Women in Law hackathon, challenging law firms to affirmatively consider women and people of color as at least 30 percent of the candidate pool for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, and lateral positions.

Now, in 2020, the Mansfield Rule: Legal Department Edition 2.0 (MRLD 2.0) expands the initiative’s scope and raises the bar—measuring whether legal departments have affirmatively considered women, LGBTQ+, lawyers with disabilities, and racial/ethnic minority lawyers as at least 50 percent of the candidate pool for the legal department’s top roles and for outside counsel representation.

This summer Booz Allen joined the MRLD 2.0 certification process along with 53 other companies seeking to increase diversity within legal department settings as well as through the use of outside counsel.  

“Booz Allen’s longstanding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion will be strengthened by the Mansfield Rule as we recruit, retain and advance the next generation of legal leaders to help shape the transformational work we do as a business and for our clients,” said Nancy Laben, Chief Legal Officer at Booz Allen Hamilton.

Strengthening the firm’s commitment to social equity

The MRLD 2.0 certification program requires legal departments to track candidate pools and hiring activities between July 2020 and June 2022. To be Mansfield Certified, legal departments are asked to consider at least 50 percent historically underrepresented lawyers for 70 percent or more of their leadership roles and other activities. These efforts include:

  • External hiring and/or promotions for top roles
  • External hiring, internal transitions, and/or promotions for senior- and mid-tier management and other lawyer positions
  • Hiring for interns and temporary lawyer positions
  • High-visibility opportunities that provide skills-building and exposure
  • Written and transparent job responsibilities for all senior and mid-tier management roles, as well as advancement opportunities and promotions within the legal department
  • Hiring outside counsel for new or existing matters

Empowering change

The Mansfield Rule Legal Department certification program is already making an impact. Every single legal department that participated in the first pilot now tracks the diversity of outside counsel candidates considered for first or second chair positions—whereas only 15 percent of participants were doing this ahead of joining the program. In addition, 80 percent of participants reported an increase in formal discussions by legal department leadership about broadening their current or future pool of candidates.

“Visible representation matters, and participating in MRLD 2.0 will help our legal department further build and elevate our diverse talent pipeline across all levels from new hires to senior management. We are pleased to be working closely with Diversity Lab on this important program,” said Jeniffer De Jesus Roberts, Booz Allen Vice President and Deputy General Counsel. 

For Booz Allen, already recognized for diversity and inclusion on its board of directors and executive leadership team and recently named a Forbes Best Employer for Women, involvement in the MRLD 2.0 program is the next step in an ongoing journey.

“Booz Allen’s mission is to empower people to change the world, and that is only possible when we embrace the collective ingenuity of diverse voices,” said Laben.

Learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion at Booz Allen and Booz Allen’s commitment to advancing racial and social equity