MoFo partners Jessica Kaufmann, Eric Pai, Tina Reynolds, Claudia Vetesi, and Nicole Serfoss were selected to attend the Mansfield Client Forums, hosted by Diversity Lab — a think tank dedicated to curating innovative ideas and solutions to bolster diversity and inclusion in law.
In 2019, the firm once again received Mansfield Certification Plus status, following Mansfield Rule 2.0, indicating that we successfully reached at least 30 percent women, minority, and LGBTQ+ lawyer representation in a notable number of current leadership roles and committees. The firm was one of only 25 that received Certification Plus for two consecutive years, and was one of 44 law firms to pilot Diversity Lab's inaugural Mansfield Rule initiative which ran from the summer of 2017 through mid-2018.
As part of earning Mansfield Certification Plus status, MoFo was given the opportunity to invite a select list of diverse partners to attend one of four client forums in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. The client forums present a unique opportunity to network with other diverse attorneys and meet with high-level in-house counsel representing companies such as CBS, Lincoln Financial Group, Pfizer, BASF, MassMutual, and PepsiCo, among others.
Partners were invited to attend both days of the forums in each city. The first day was filled with intriguing TED-style talks interspersed with small-group, professional networking breaks to facilitate business connections. The second day was dedicated to small-group pitch meetings with select in-house counsel.
Client forum topics included:
- How and Why I Hire (and Sometimes Fire) Outside Counsel
- How to Get Additional Work and Successfully Cross-Sell Your Colleagues When Working with My Company
- What Is Keeping My Legal & Compliance (and Business) Colleagues Up at Night
- The Impact of D&I on the Selection of Outside Counsel
- Five Things I Love (and Loathe) That Outside Counsel Does When Working with Me
- It Takes Two to Tango: The Role That In-House Clients Play in Cultivating Diverse Teams in Firms; and the Surprising Ways that Outside Counsel Can Cultivate Diverse Teams In-House
New York litigation partner Jessica Kaufman, Palo Alto litigation partner Eric Pai, and Northern Virginia litigation partner Tina Reynolds attended the forum in New York and found that the company representatives who took part in the forum's pitch meetings were excited to explore potential areas in which they could engage MoFo. While making some new connections, the lawyers were also able to meet with existing clients to strengthen those relationships. Jessica noted "The sessions were really useful, as were the informal networking opportunities," and added, "I always get something out of clients talking about what they need."
Denver litigation partner Nicole Serfoss, who joined San Francisco litigation partner Claudia Vetesi for the West Coast forum, remarked, "We received some really good intel from the clients we met with, from what they're looking for in pitches to potential ways MoFo can help with their current needs."
As a follow-up to the event, Diversity Lab sent out a survey to attendees in order to continue improving the forum. Diversity Lab also collected valuable feedback from client pitch sessions to share with attendees on speaking style, effectiveness at describing capabilities, and knowledge of their firm's commitment to diversity, as well as practical tips for improving their pitch skills.
MoFo is proud to continue its commitment to the advancement of its diverse attorneys and to take part in Mansfield Rule 3.0 in 2020, which will include lawyers with disabilities in the populations considered.
Read more about the results of Mansfield 2.0 from Diversity Lab here.