(CHICAGO) Katten announced today that the firm achieved Mansfield Rule 4.0 Certification Plus status, a nod to Katten's commitment to increase opportunities for advancement and strengthen an inclusive pipeline of diverse legal leaders.

"With greater diversity, equity and inclusion among Katten's core values, we are honored to be recognized as a Mansfield Certified Plus firm. This distinction is a great accomplishment and an important benchmark to demonstrate how much progress we are making at the firm and in the industry as a whole," said Katten Chief Diversity Partner Leslie Minier. "At Katten, we embrace the rich diversity of our colleagues and value their life experiences, knowledge and insights, which enhance our client service."

The Mansfield Rule is a winning idea from Diversity Lab's Women in Law Hackathon aimed at boosting representation of historically underrepresented attorneys in the ranks of law firm leadership.

Under the program, law firms are measured on whether they have considered at least 30 percent women, attorneys of color, LGBTQ+ attorneys, and attorneys with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior-level lateral positions.

Katten's Mansfield Certification Plus status indicates that, in addition to meeting or exceeding the baseline certification requirements, the firm has successfully reached at least 30 percent underrepresented lawyer representation in a notable number of its current leadership roles.

"We are proud to have diverse professionals at all levels, from the board of directors and compensation committee to office managing partners and practice group leaders," said Katten Chief Talent Officer Melanie Priddy. "At Katten, we recognize the importance of helping diverse attorneys overcome barriers to career advancement. To that end, the firm has offered engaging and effective professional development opportunities to support and enable all attorneys to realize their full potential."

Katten recently rolled out a pilot sponsorship program called Kattalyst, focused on retaining and advancing underrepresented attorneys with high potential by offering training and coaching opportunities to help enhance their leadership and business development skills. The protégés are paired with senior-level partners as their sponsors, who use their insights and business relationships to open more doors to opportunities.

This spring, the firm launched a two-part virtual diversity series offered to diverse attorneys and summer associates. The series was designed to provide guidance on how to attract and sustain the attention of senior leadership, and to address diversity and inclusion best practices and what corporate clients expect from law firms.

Additionally, Katten regularly partners with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity and participates in the Fellows and Pathfinder professional development training programs.

Katten is also a participant in the Mansfield Rule 5.0 certification process, which now tasks law firms with tracking their candidate pools for nominations to a legal rankings guide and for C-level or other senior-level business professional roles.