In an effort to further strengthen efforts to foster diversity, equity and inclusion, Warner Norcross + Judd LLP has signed on as a Mansfield™ participant for 2023-24.
The goal of Mansfield is to increase inclusivity and diversity in law firm leadership by broadening who is considered for influential leadership committees, roles and opportunities. The program works with law firms to track and evaluate appointments, elections, promotions and other critical activities that impact the pipeline of diverse candidates.
“This is a natural progression of our DEI journey as a law firm” said Mandice McAllister, diversity, equity and inclusion manager. “Warner has a strong commitment to diversity, which we have been focused on, invested in and measured for years.
“Mansfield works to promote diversity in law firm leadership by putting mechanisms in place that track intention. Our work will not only create pathways for new lawyers but will ensure attorneys who are underrepresented have leadership opportunities with clients and the firm. We look forward to learning and growing together as firm in the coming year.”
McAllister explained Mansfield has four main pillars:
- Increasing transparency and documentation: Providing job descriptions, processes and guidelines for leadership roles, such as managing partner, management committee, executive partners and practice group chairs. This ensures clarity about how to apply for and achieve these roles.
- Expanding the field of consideration and access to career development and advancement: Ensuring diversity among attorneys who participate in responding to requests for proposals, pitching work to new clients or providing information for submissions to Chambers rankings.
- Establishing data track processes: Affirming at least 30% of attorneys considered for leadership roles and new business opportunities are from underrepresented groups.
- Knowledge sharing: Joining knowledge calls that bring together law firms new to the Mansfield process and those who are recertifying to share best practices and discuss challenges.
Warner has done extensive work over the past two decades to make the firm a more diverse and welcoming place. This includes:
- Creating a hiring policy in 2021 requiring at least 30% of candidates for new associates and lateral attorneys to be from underrepresented groups. The firm has had two consecutive classes of summer associates with more than 40% people of color and women.
- Providing more than $303,000 to provide scholarships and other financial support to prepare students who are underrepresented for success in the legal profession.
- Establishing a DEI Action Committee that creates the processes, strategies and opportunities for the firm’s DEI efforts. These are reported in the firm’s DEI Annual Report, which has been issued annually since 2006.
- Hosting quarterly town halls and lunch-and-learn training opportunities to provide a forum for open dialogue on expanded competency on DEI-related topics such as allyship, generational diversity and LGBTQIA+ inclusion.
- Launching resource groups for attorneys and staff of color or who identify as LGBTQIA+ to provide opportunities for dialogue and engagement, mentoring and professional development and community outreach.
- Increasing use of and spending with diverse suppliers.
By providing discerning and proactive legal advice, Warner Norcross + Judd LLP builds a better partnership with our clients. One of Michigan’s largest law firms, we’re focused on providing the best legal solutions and exceptional client service to organizations throughout the world. Connect with us on wnj.com, LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.
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