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Brinks Gilson & Lione to Participate in Mansfield Rule for Midsize Firms
November 06, 2020

CHICAGO—Continuing its commitment to encouraging diversity, inclusion and promotion of women and attorneys of color to leadership and governance positions, intellectual property law firm Brinks Gilson & Lione is participating in Diversity Lab's Mansfield Rule program, an initiative aimed at increasing diversity in leadership positions, for the fourth year in a row, the firm announced today.

In 2017, Brinks was one of approximately 40 major law firms in the United States that adopted the Mansfield Rule as a participant in its pilot program. The program was aimed at closing the gaps between women and attorneys of color in leadership roles in Big Law. The Rule established that, at a minimum, 30 percent of a law firm's candidate pools for leadership or governance positions—including equity partnership promotions and senior lateral positions—should be women or minorities.

"Brinks recognizes the importance of diversity in providing the best service to our clients. Our firm’s participation in the Mansfield Rule program has been a positive step in our efforts to foster a work environment that provides women and attorneys of color opportunities to succeed and develop their careers. Brinks is proud to have participated in this program from its inception," noted Brinks shareholder Rashad Morgan, co-chair of the Firm’s Diversity Committee and member of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Board of Governors.

The Mansfield Rule program gauges a firm’s investment in considering and selecting female attorneys and attorneys of color for leadership and governance roles, partnership promotions, and lateral hiring, as well as consideration for and participation in key strategic activities and initiatives. This is the program's fourth year. This year, Brinks has chosen to participate in the Mansfield Rule’s midsize pilot program for firms with less than 100 attorneys.

“We are certainly proud to be part of the Mansfield Rule program again for a fourth year, and it will be even more rewarding for Brinks if we can share our knowledge and experience with other firms that are just getting started with the program. We can learn together and grow collectively, hopefully initiating positive change in the profession for women and under-represented groups and seeing that change in action for years to come,” noted Brinks shareholder Betsy Derwinski, co-chair of the Firm’s Diversity Committee.

The Mansfield Rule was one of the winning ideas from the 2016 Women in Law Hackathon hosted by Diversity Lab in collaboration with Bloomberg Law and Stanford Law School. The Rule is named for Arabella Mansfield, who passed the Iowa bar exam in 1869, but was barred by state law from practicing in the state. Mansfield challenged the law, and Iowa's legislature subsequently amended its licensing statute—becoming the first U.S. state to admit both women and minorities to the bar. The Rule is modeled on the National Football League's longstanding Rooney Rule, which stipulates that there be one diverse candidate in every candidate pool for an NFL team manager or coach opening.

Brinks Gilson & Lione

Celebrating more than 100 years of intellectual property law, Brinks Gilson & Lione is one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., and helps clients around the world protect and enforce their intellectual property rights. Our lawyers, patent agents and scientific advisors assist clients in all aspects of patent, trademark, unfair competition, trade secret, and copyright law. Brinks attorneys provide informed counsel with respect to innovations in a range of complex and valuable technologies, including pharmaceuticals, chemicals, bioengineering, industrial manufacturing, electronics and software, and medical devices. Visit www.brinksgilson.com for more information.