Cozen & O'Connor issued the following announcement on May 8.
Cozen O’Connor announced they are signing on for Mansfield Rule 3.0 Certification. It is a yearlong process requiring the firm to boost its efforts to promote opportunities for its diverse attorneys, including tracking candidates considered for promotion to partner and firm-wide leadership roles and activities within the firm, as well as lateral partner and senior associate hiring and inclusion in formal client pitches and RFPs. To be certified a Mansfield Rule law firm, Cozen O’Connor must consider at least 30 percent of women, lawyers of color, lawyers with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ lawyers, collectively historically underrepresented lawyers, for promotion and hiring, complete regular check-in surveys and data collection requests, and engage in community building and knowledge sharing with other participating law firms.
The Mansfield Rule is one of the winning ideas from the 2016 Women in Law Hackathon hosted by Diversity Lab, in collaboration with Bloomberg Law and Stanford Law. It was inspired by the NFL’s Rooney Rule that requires NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate for head coach vacancies.
The firm will begin collecting this data July 1, 2019; certification determinations will be made after August 5, 2020.
“The firm has long been committed to the promotion and retention of diverse and women candidates,” said Vincent R. McGuinness, Jr,. President and Managing Partner of Cozen O’Connor. “With the tools and resources Diversity Lab is providing us, along with this 30 percent rule top of mind, we expect to achieve this certification and continue to reap the benefits of having more diverse voices in leadership.”
Additionally, at the end of the certification process, the firm will have the option of providing data on our diversity representation in leadership to achieve Certification Plus status.
Following certification, diverse members of the 2018 and 2019 new partner classes will be invited to attend Client Forums — two-day, in-person summits connecting new partners with diversity-committed legal departments. In the past, representatives from CBS, 3M, Walmart, MasterCard, GAP, ExxonMobil, Google, and McKesson have attended these Client Forums.
“One of the top struggles diverse attorneys tell us about is their limited ability to bring in new business,” said Lynnette Espy-Williams, Chief Diversity Officer at Cozen O’Connor. “These Client Forums will be a vital opportunity for our new and young partners to make meaningful connections within some of the largest companies in the country. We know from the Diversity Lab these Client Forums have already been successful for business development.”
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