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Harter Secrest & Emery Achieves Mansfield Certification

Rochester, New York, October 23, 2023– Harter Secrest & Emery LLP, a full-service business law firm with offices throughout New York, is pleased to announce it has achieved Mansfield Certification, awarded by Diversity Lab. To earn this distinguished certification, the firm completed a rigorous 18-month collaboration with Diversity Lab to track and measure structural changes in key areas including lateral hiring, client pitch teams, promotions, and appointments.

“Mansfield certification is a significant milestone on our journey to a culture of inclusivity and belonging at HSE,” said Harter Secrest & Emery Inclusion & Equity Committee Chair and Partner John G. Horn. “But we know that our colleagues, clients and communities expect even more of us, and we fully intend to do more and be more in the days and years to come.”

HSE qualified for the Mansfield Certification after adopting and implementing a new standard for considering at least 30% historically underrepresented lawyers for 60% or more of all hiring searches and openings, equity partner promotions, firm governance and managing partner roles, and formal client meetings and presentations between the certification period of March 2022 to July 2023. In addition, the process for which the firm appoints and nominates firm leaders is more transparent with the adoption of written procedures and descriptions.

“We have always been thoughtful and intentional in creating recruiting and development programs that foster an environment where everyone in our firm has the ability to be personally and professionally successful and fulfilled,” said Lucille A. Dadd, Chief Legal Talent and Development Officer. “With the assistance of Diversity Lab and the Mansfield Certification requirements, we intend to build on our foundation by implementing best practices that illustrate the firm’s commitment to inclusion and equity and increase opportunities for historically underrepresented attorneys.”

Harter Secrest & Emery is one of over 65 mid-sized law firms across the country (firms with fewer than 150 lawyers) that participated in the 2022-2023 certification process.

Participation in the Mansfield Certification program is just one of many actions that Harter Secrest & Emery has taken to demonstrate the firm’s commitment to building an inclusive workplace. Under the term, “HSE acts”, Harter Secrest & Emery engages in very deliberate “acts” of Awareness, Commitment, Teamwork and Support to move the needle of inclusion. Other “acts” include:

  • Developing an Inclusion & Equity Strategic Plan that lays out very specific goals and initiatives that the firm is actively implementing under the direction of the Inclusion & Equity Committee Chair, John G. Horn.
  • Launching three Employee Resource Groups: Women, People of Color and LGBTQIA+. These groups, open to everyone in the firm, meet regularly to promote understanding and share knowledge related to specific backgrounds of interest. They also serve to combat isolation and provide opportunities for leadership and mentorship.
  • Creating a process for adding pronouns to certain firm and marketing materials for all partners and employees.
  • Providing credit for Inclusion and Equity work in the annual billable hour requirement.
  • Joining and actively participating in the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance.
  • Hosting a Diversity Speaker Series consisting of monthly experts addressing a wide variety of diversity and inclusion topics for attorneys and staff.


More information about “HSE acts” can be found on the firm’s Inclusion and Equity page.

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