(CHICAGO) Katten announced today that the firm achieved certification for Mansfield Rule 3.0 for meeting the benchmarks that women, attorneys of color, LGBTQ+ attorneys, and attorneys with disabilities account for at least 30 percent of the candidate pool considered for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions.
The firm also has signed on as a participant in the next iteration to further increase representation of historically underrepresented attorneys in law firm leadership and sustain a diverse and inclusive workforce in the legal industry.
"We have proudly supported the Mansfield Rule since its inception because we value and are committed to improving diversity, equity and inclusion at Katten. We envision a diversified legal profession in which the barriers to success are dismantled so all our attorneys are given opportunities to grow and become leaders and are equally represented at the table," said Katten's Chief Diversity Partner Leslie D. Minier.
The Mansfield Rule, a winning idea from the 2016 Women in Law Hackathon hosted by Diversity Lab in collaboration with Bloomberg Law and Stanford Law School, was inspired by the NFL's Rooney Rule, which requires NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate for head coach vacancies. The rule was named after Arabella Mansfield, the first woman admitted to practice law in the United States.
Katten has recently provided career coaching to attorneys of color to examine their priorities, goals, relationships and growth opportunities in their practice group, similar to the coaching offered to parents at the firm to help them navigate the challenges and obstacles created by the pandemic. Additionally, firm leaders have regularly consulted with Katten's affinity groups to ensure diverse attorneys have strategies to support their career progression and continue to have access to opportunities for professional development during this COVID-19 remote work environment.
Building on those efforts, Katten's Women's Leadership Forum (WLF) this fall is launching a six-part boot camp series to provide practical business development training and support for women in all stages of their careers. The series will include sessions on personal branding, leveraging the firm's internal resources to identify business targets and prepare strategies to develop and expand business relationships, and guiding attorneys on how to successfully implement their action plan for business development.
"Through this boot camp, we are equipping our women attorneys with the necessary skills to strategically identify and pursue new business opportunities, expand their networks and further develop relationships with clients and colleagues so they can strengthen their potential for advancement," said partner Kenya S. Woodruff, WLF's national chair.
At the same time, Katten remains committed to maintaining its partnership with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, empowering attorneys to participate in pipeline programs that provide leadership training, development and mentoring for diverse talent.