LANSING, Mich. –Foster Swift Collins & Smith will be one of 70-plus law firms participating in the Midsize Mansfield Rule Certification program.
This program was established by the Diversity Lab (an incubator for innovative ideas and solutions that boost diversity and inclusion in the law) with the goal to boost the representation of historically underrepresented lawyers in law firm leadership by broadening the pool of candidates considered for these positions.
The Mansfield Rule Certification measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered at least 30 percent women, underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, LGBTQ+ lawyers and lawyers with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions.
The Midsize certification process, which is modeled after the version designed for full-size firms, is modified to boost diversity in leadership for firms with a smaller number of attorneys, single office locations and leaner firm leadership structures.
The certification period for the firms participating in the Midsize program will last a rigorous 18 months from September 2021 to March 2023 to provide adequate time for the firms to take action on hiring, promotion and leadership activities.
Firms that complete the Midsize Mansfield Rule criteria will be designated as “Mansfield Certified” which will give them the opportunity to send their underrepresented partners to the Mansfield Rule Client Forums in 2023 to build relationships and learn from the Diversity Lab’s in-house counsel collaborators.
Foster Swift believes that a diverse and comprehensive staff enables them to better serve their communities. In 1993, the firm formed an active diversity committee that has been meeting and providing guidance for the firm’s internal diversity training programming, policy consideration and community support ever since.
By electing Anne Seurynck in 2020, Foster Swift became one of the first of Michigan’s large law firms to designate a woman attorney as firm president. In addition, 25 percent of the firm’s attorneys are women and many serve in management roles including two of the six members of the firm’s executive committee and three firm practice group leaders.