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Baker Donelson Achieves Mansfield Certification Plus Status

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For the second consecutive year, Baker Donelson has achieved Mansfield Certification Plus status. It is among 118 leading law firms that have completed a rigorous 12-month collaboration with Diversity Lab with built-in measurement, transparency and accountability.

The goal of the Mansfield Rule is to boost the representation of historically underrepresented lawyers in law firm leadership by broadening the pool of candidates considered for these opportunities. The Mansfield Rule Certification measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered at least 30 percent women, underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer) lawyers and lawyers with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions. Mansfield Certification Plus status indicates that, in addition to meeting or exceeding the baseline certification requirements, the firms have successfully reached at least 30 percent underrepresented lawyer representation in a notable number of their current leadership roles.

"Our participation in the Mansfield Rule is an important part of our ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion," said Baker Donelson's Diversity and Inclusion Officer Mark A. Baugh. "It is exactly the type of initiative that is needed to ensure our profession achieves meaningful progress toward diversifying law firm leadership. As a Mansfield Plus Certified firm, we're proud to continue to be a part of Diversity Lab's outstanding mission."

In addition to its continued status as a Mansfield Plus Certified firm, during 2020 Baker Donelson implemented a Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Compact, a multi-year plan to drastically increase the number of diverse attorneys within its ranks, as well as committing to provide additional support and remove barriers to advancement. Baker Donelson's D&I Compact outlines the Firm's commitment to be an industry-leading law firm in diversity and inclusion by December 31, 2025. In order to meet that goal, the Compact set specific benchmarks for the Firm to achieve at least 20 percent diverse attorneys, ten percent diverse shareholders, eight percent diverse equity shareholders and a ten percent diverse management team. For the purposes of the D&I Compact, diversity is defined as racial, ethnic, and LGBTQ+ status.

"We are thrilled to celebrate these firms that have worked so tirelessly to implement the Mansfield Rule principles and create inclusive workplaces where every lawyer has the ability to thrive and the opportunity to lead," said Natalia Marulanda, Mansfield Rule Director at Diversity Lab. "Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, the Mansfield Rule certified firms have not deviated from their goal of ensuring that law firm leadership reflects the rich diversity of the profession. We are enormously proud to work with such a committed group of firms."

Diversity Lab is an incubator for innovative ideas and solutions that boost diversity and inclusion in law. Experimental ideas are created through Hackathons and piloted in collaboration with more than 150 top law firms and legal departments across the country. Diversity Lab leverages data, behavioral science, design thinking, and technology to further develop and test new ideas and research, measure the results, and share the lessons learned.

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