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  Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner received the Diversity and Inclusion Award from the Mound City Bar Association on July 21. The award was presented to BCLP for the firm’s leadership in adopting the Mansfield Rule, part of an industrywide initiative to boost diversity in law firm leadership. The Mound City Bar Association (MCBA) is one of the oldest African American bar associations west of the Mississippi River. 

The Mansfield Rule requires that women lawyers and lawyers of color represent at least 30 percent of the candidate pool for significant law firm leadership roles, including all senior leadership and governance positions, equity partner promotions and lateral hiring. BCLP has committed to following Mansfield in 2019 as well, when it expands the 30 percent requirement to include openly LGBTQ candidates and also will apply the diversity requirements to all formal marketing pitches. 

The Mansfield Rule is named after Arabella Mansfield, the first woman admitted to practice law in the United States. The Mansfield Rule was inspired by the NFL’s “Rooney Rule,” named for former Pittsburgh Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney, which requires every NFL team to interview at least one minority candidate for head coach vacancies.

St. Louis Partner Jerry Hunter and office Managing Partner Bob Newmark accepted the award on behalf of the firm at the MCBA’s 2018 Scholarship Dinner.

“The firm’s commitment to diversity and inclusion predates our adoption of the Mansfield Rule, with diversity and inclusivity long a core value of the firm, and we pledged ourselves to a similar strategy under our strategic plan three years ago,” Newmark said. “It was a true honor to represent the firm in accepting this award.”