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Lightfoot Joins Second Cohort of Diversity Lab's Mansfield Rule for Midsize Firms

National initiative sets benchmarks for hiring, promoting minority lawyers

September 14, 2021

Lightfoot , Franklin & White LLC is proud to be in Diversity Lab’s second cohort of the Mansfield Rule for Midsize Firms, part of a national initiative to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal profession. Lightfoot is one of more than 70 law firms across the United States participating in the 2021-2023 cohort.

The 18-month program launches on September 15 and includes periodic check-ins on measurable goals, as well as collaboration with other participating law firms who share Lightfoot's values for promoting a more inclusive legal industry.

The overall goal of the Midsize Mansfield Rule is to "increase the representation of diverse lawyers in leadership by broadening the pool of women, LGBTQ+ lawyers, lawyers with disabilities, and/or racial/ethnic minority lawyers who are considered for entry-level and lateral attorney job openings, leadership opportunities, equity partner promotions, and opportunities to connect with clients."

As part of its participation, Lightfoot pledges that at least 30% of the candidates considered for a majority of available firm positions will be from historically underrepresented communities. This applies to new hires, partner promotions, leadership roles and the makeup of client pitch teams. The initiative also includes a commitment to transparency in the firm's internal governance and promotion decisions.

"We have always been dedicated to fostering an inclusive, equitable workplace and contributing to a more diverse legal industry overall,” said managing partner Melody Eagan. “Embracing this challenging and innovative initiative is just one way we can continue to demonstrate that commitment. We believe pursuing this certification will make us a stronger firm, better position us to meet our clients' needs and drive positive change that benefits the entire legal community."

Similar to the large law firm version the initiative is based upon, firms that successfully meet the Midsize Mansfield Rule criteria will be designated as “Mansfield Certified” and will have the opportunity to send diverse partners promoted during the certification process to the Mansfield Rule Client Forums in 2023 to build relationships with and learn from Diversity Lab’s in-house counsel collaborators. To date, more than 80 legal departments have contributed to or hosted client forums, including Google, ExxonMobil, Verizon, CBS, MassMutual, Pfizer, Facebook, Gap, Salesforce, Twitter, Uber, Starbucks, American Express, Ford Motor Co. and Target.

In addition to pursuing Mansfield certification, Lightfoot is currently conducting a separate voluntary self-identification survey. 

"This inward look will help us understand where we are as a firm today so that we can chart a more deliberately inclusive and strategic course for our future," said Eagan.

About Diversity

LabDiversity Lab is an incubator for innovative ideas and solutions that boost diversity and inclusion in law.Experimental ideas are created through our 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. For more information, visit

About Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC

Trusted by clients and respected by opponents, Lightfoot is a leading national litigation firm. True to its Trial Tough, Solution Savvy® philosophy, Lightfoot was named a “Top 20 Trial Law Firm” in the U.S. by Benchmark Litigation in 2019, 2020 and 2021. Working from offices in Birmingham and Houston, the firm’s 60+ lawyers are known for their work involving complex, bet-the-company litigation; internal and government investigations; risk management; and compliance counsel, including NCAA matters, for clients across the country and around the world. For more information, visit and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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