Jackson Kelly PLLC


Jackson Kelly Achieves Mansfield Certification

May 23, 2023

SAN FRANCISCO (May 23, 2023) — Diversity Lab announced today that Jackson Kelly is among the more than 70 law firms that have achieved Midsize Mansfield Certification. These midsize firms, typically ranging from 25 to 150 lawyers, have completed a rigorous 18-month collaboration with Diversity Lab — from September 2021 to March 2023 — to track, measure, and achieve diversity in leadership. 

"Jackson Kelly believes diversity, equity, and inclusion is both important and requires considered action to make and track our progress.  This is what the Mansfield Certification stands for and why we are proud to be one of 70 mid-sized law firms named to be recognized for this prestigious award,” said Jackson Kelly’s Managing Member, Robert Tweel. “Mansfield Certification is an incredible honor and a reflection on how hard we have worked to be an inclusive and diverse law firm. While we are proud to have received this recognition, we also know we must continue to put in the hard work to reach our diversity, equity, and inclusion goals, and we are committed as a firm to pursue these objectives. “

To build upon the early successes of the original Mansfield Rule designed in 2017 for larger law firms, the Midsize Mansfield Certification was tailored and launched in 2020 for firms with fewer than 150 lawyers that have smaller footprints, less formal leadership structures, and fewer hiring and leadership selections. Following similar principles, the certification measures whether midsize firms have considered at least 30% women lawyers, underrepresented racial and ethnic lawyers, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitches, lateral lawyer hiring, and more. And while working to achieve these benchmarks, the certified midsize firms also embedded transparency in their advancement processes through written leadership role descriptions and clearly defined pathways to leadership.

Nearly one-half of the Certified Midsize Mansfield firms have also achieved Certification “Plus” status, which indicates that in addition to the consideration and transparency requirements, the firms have successfully achieved 30% diverse representation in current leadership roles and pipeline activities.

"All of the certified firms stepped up as trailblazers to create more diverse and inclusive leaderships in the midsize firm sector,” said Alyssa Jarvis, Senior Manager of Mansfield at Diversity Lab. “Despite launching this change-management effort during a global pandemic among other marketplace disruptions, these firms were not deterred from tackling challenging talent systems changes to increase diversity in their firms and the profession. This is a truly committed group of firms and leaders who see the value in measuring what matters."

These certified firms – along with a second cohort of 65+ midsize firms currently in the midst of their certification cycle (listed here) – are all now tracking and measuring their leadership pipelines and ensuring that their processes for advancement are transparent. Without these tracking mechanisms in place, firms lack the knowledge needed to evaluate if their advancement processes and decisions are inclusive and equitable. Several data points and firm quotes illustrate the outcomes, including:

  1. Prior to adopting Mansfield, less than one-quarter of participating midsize firms tracked who was considered for equity partner promotions or open lateral lawyer roles.
  2. Pre-Mansfield, even fewer firms – only 15% – tracked who was considered for leadership such as practice group leaders, office heads, and C-suite roles.
  3. Less than one-half of participating midsize firms had written and transparent job descriptions for leadership and governance roles prior to adopting Mansfield; research shows that clear and open disclosure of information, as required by Mansfield, helps out-groups become in-groups and levels the playing field for all talent by writing down the unwritten rules and ensuring that everyone has access.


© 2024 Jackson Kelly PLLC. All Rights Reserved.