Stoel Rives Achieves Mansfield Rule 2.0 Plus Certification

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PORTLAND, Ore. Stoel Rives LLP is proud to announce that it has achieved Mansfield Rule 2.0 Plus Certification, affirming that it considers at least 30 percent women, lawyers of color, and LGBTQ+ lawyers for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions.

A program of Diversity Lab, the Mansfield Rule law firm certification program is designed to boost the representation of diverse lawyers in law firm leadership by broadening the pool of candidates considered for such opportunities. Stoel Rives is one of 64 firms certified during the second round of the Mansfield Rule program, and has agreed to participate, along with 98 other law firms, in the third year of the program. Stoel Rives also is one of five law firms that volunteered to pilot a more intensive tracking process that measures the consideration of individual demographic groups for each category in Mansfield 3.0.

“Stoel Rives is pleased to participate in the Mansfield Rule law firm certification program, which is a natural extension of our long-term commitment to increase diversity and inclusion at our firm,” said Breanna Schmidt, Director of Talent Development & Diversity for Stoel Rives. “We believe that a more diverse law firm is a more innovative law firm and offers a better workplace for our team and better service to our clients.”

Schmidt serves as the talent lead/senior administrator in Stoel Rives’ efforts to meet and maintain the requirements of the Mansfield Rule through the firm’s talent management department, which is responsible for talent acquisition, professional development, and diversity and inclusion functions. Kelly Knivila, healthcare regulatory lawyer and partner of Stoel Rives, serves as the firm’s partner champion. Together, they direct and oversee the Mansfield Rule certification process at the firm.

Named for Arabella Mansfield, the first woman lawyer in the United States, the Mansfield Rule aims to emphasize the importance of offering leadership positions to women and minorities in the legal profession.

“Our plan is to raise the bar each year,” said Lisa Kirby, Chief Intelligence & Knowledge Sharing Officer at Diversity Lab. “We follow design-thinking principles, so we measure results each year and work with participating firms to iterate the pilot based on the results to ensure we are moving toward our goal of diversifying law firm leadership as inclusively and impactfully as possible. It’s especially meaningful to lead this initiative this year because it marks the 150th anniversary of Arabella Mansfield’s becoming the first woman admitted to a U.S. bar association.”

The results of the Mansfield Rule 2.0 program showed a significant surge in the diversity of firms’ candidate pools for leadership roles, equity partner promotions, and lateral hiring. Some of the key data points include:

  • 94% of Mansfield Rule 2.0 firms said that after adopting the Mansfield Rule, their candidate pool for pitch teams was more diverse.
  • 79% of participating firms reported that their lateral partner pool was more diverse following adoption of the Mansfield Rule, and 76% said their equity partner pool was more diverse.
  • 92% of participating firms saw an increase in formal discussions regarding succession planning for leadership and governance roles, and 85% increased formal discussions for lateral partner hiring.

To learn more about the Mansfield Rule, visit Diversity Lab’s website.

Stoel Rives has long been recognized for its advancement of women lawyers to positions of leadership and ownership. In addition to the Mansfield Rule law firm certification, the firm is Gold Standard Certified by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF), a leading organization for women in law dedicated to assisting women in the largest law firms and corporate law departments in advancing their careers. 

Key Contributors

Kelly Knivila
Breanna M. Schmidt
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