Burr & Forman Reaches Coveted Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Milestone By Achieving Mansfield Rule Certification

Firm News

Burr & Forman is pleased to announce it has achieved Mansfield Rule Certification from Diversity Lab, the industry standard for certifying a demonstrable commitment to encouraging diversity in law firm leadership. The process for meeting the standards of Mansfield Rule 6.0, the latest iteration of the rule that Diversity Lab called the toughest version to date, spanned from July 2022 to July 2023 with an expanded scope of parameters law firms must meet for certification. This achievement follows Burr & Forman’s first attempt at Mansfield Rule Certification, and the firm is one of 21 large firms to achieve certification for the first time this year.

“Achieving Mansfield Rule Certification is a true honor and highlights years of hard work as well as our commitment to promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout our firm. This also demonstrates the firm’s value of equal opportunity and access to the ranks of leadership,” said Ed Christian, CEO at Burr & Forman. “It is especially meaningful to have reached this coveted mark in a year where Diversity Lab has raised the bar and called on firms to do more. We are grateful to all those across our firm’s footprint who have made a difference through their efforts, buy-in, and understanding of the importance of these issues.”

“The Mansfield Certification process helped us to be more mindful in leadership selection. It was yet another tool to move us from aspiration to action,” said Tamika Walters, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Burr & Forman.

When Diversity Lab launched the Mansfield Rule certification in 2017, the primary requirement was to consider at least 30% women lawyers and underrepresented racial and ethnic lawyers for leadership roles. Parameters have steadily broadened each year with Mansfield Rule 6.0, including the consideration of LGBTQ+ lawyers and lawyers with disabilities, as well as a dozen other activities focused on the leadership pipeline. Certification now also requires the consideration of 30% underrepresented talent for C-suite roles and partaking in numerous other activities to promote long-term success within the firm and industry.

Burr & Forman’s Mansfield Rule Certification follows years of strategic initiatives to promote DE&I within the firm’s ranks and the legal industry more broadly. Within the firm and led by Tamika Walters and the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, in tandem with the firm’s top leadership, Burr & Forman facilitates affinity groups, offers 50 hours of credit for DEI activities toward annual billable requirements, leads in-depth training on unconscious bias and anti-racism, offers regular workshops on important DEI issues and more. Within the industry, the firm is highly active with several diverse bar associations and conferences and frequently engages diverse leaders to lead in DEI events and programming.

More information about Burr & Forman’s DE&I commitment is available here, and more information on Diversity Lab’s latest Mansfield Rule certification process is available here.

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