Page is loading...



Our Commitment to Mansfield

Barnes & Thornburg is Mansfield 5.0 certified. To become “Mansfield Certified,” participating firms are asked to affirmatively consider at least 30 percent historically underrepresented lawyers – including women, lawyers of color, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities – when making decisions on leadership and governance positions, including firm management roles and certain committee roles. The same considerations are applied to formal pitch opportunities, senior associate and lateral partner openings, and equity partnership promotions.

Mansfield 5.0 Certification

The primary goal of the Mansfield Rule is to increase diversity in law firm leadership and Barnes & Thornburg achieved just that by way of the following data points from our Mansfield 5.0 certification journey:

When initially determining Barnes & Thornburg’s participation in Mansfield, we wanted to make sure that it was something that would be legitimately useful for our clients and for us. We jumped in unanimously and definitively and are proud to have met 100 percent of the Mansfield 5.0 certification categories. 

“The Mansfield Rule program has grown to be a recognized model that creates mindfulness and drives accountability in an authentic way in law firms that increasingly seek alignment with their clients’ values. It works beyond simply creating a set of boxes to be checked. Instead, it drives real change and is good business.”

– Dawn Rosemond, Firm Diversity Partner

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are not just initiatives or programs at Barnes & Thornburg. Instead, all are part of our long-standing core values, fully and deliberately integrated into the way we do business. Our mission is simple: to position all of our talent to win – individually, collectively, and for our clients. Through conscious programming, engaged sponsorship, and the continual internal and external investment of time, talent, and resources, we are building and sustaining an inclusive, respectful, and open culture made up of accomplished individuals of all backgrounds. This is who we've always been and we are now utilizing Mansfield to intensify this commitment.

Some of our recent recognitions include:

Investment in Action:

You might be reading this and thinking, the certification is great – the numbers look good and the badges are flashy, but what are they really doing? We walk the talk here at the firm. Below are just a few tangible examples of our commitment in action here at Barnes & Thornburg:

  • Black Women Lead Collective: Black women lawyers continue to hold court at the bottom of almost every list, such as the number of partners, in the legal profession. However, at Barnes & Thornburg, we are determined to shape a different story. In 2021, we convened a study to assess the success journey of our Black women lawyers and, upon receipt of the findings, have been on a mission ever since to create a formalized care structure designed to deliberately promote their retention and advancement. This effort has birthed a coordinated business development effort called the Black Women Lead Collective designed, plain and simple, to move Black women lawyers into the equity partner ranks.
  • IP Diversity Taskforce: The Barnes & Thornburg Intellectual Property Department continues to develop its own Diversity Taskforce, collaborating with the Firm Diversity Partner and an outside consultant to attract, retain, and support historically underrepresented IP lawyers, and to train department members to build and support diverse teams. This undertaking will ensure that we have a greater presence of diverse attorneys, particularly in the partner ranks, in order to better position us to retain existing work and seek new work.
  • Client Case Study: Barnes & Thornburg partners have worked directly with legal team leaders at one of its largest clients to leverage DEI as a way to deepen the partnership and expand the caliber of work being done. It is known that the best client service is provided when diverse teams are developed to handle the work – and this example takes that to the next level. Quarterly reporting provided to the client shows the percentage of billing credit going to diverse partners is 100 percent and the number of hours billed to the engagement by diverse attorneys is more than 70 percent, and a readout of the staffing on open matters indicates a level of transparency that reflects the client’s desire to maintain these benchmarks for elevating diverse talent.

Mansfield 5.0 certification allows us to increase the pool of diverse lawyers who can handle and manage matters. By committing to this certification, we are helping historically underrepresented attorneys blaze a pathway to equity partnership and developing a pipeline of diverse talent.

Looking to the Future:

Although we have accomplished Mansfield 5.0 certification, we are not done yet! Progress is rarely as easy or quick as we would like it to be, but we keep pushing to be better as our journey is never-ending. We are proud to say we will continue in this initiative as a Mansfield Rule 6.0 participant in the year ahead. Regardless, we are committed (and working right now) to ensuring that the spirit and letter of Mansfield are fully incorporated into the way we do business at Barnes & Thornburg.  

Latest Episode of Diversity Matters

View Our 2022 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Annual Report

View our 2021 Diversity, Equity And Inclusion Magazine

Trending Connect
We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience. By clicking any link on this page you are giving your consent for us to use cookies.