Andy Kassner, Drinker Biddle Chairman and CEO, took part in Diversity Lab’s Fall Diversity in Law Hackathon and his team won second place among the 10 participating teams. This national event, which was the second in a two-part series for 2018, featured leaders from pre-eminent law firms, corporate legal departments, advisors, and students from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law and UC Hastings College of the Law devising innovative ideas for boosting diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.
Andy’s team presented the idea of an enhanced sponsorship program to help close the diverse leadership gap by putting more focus on the key drivers of success for sponsorship programs. The program focuses on four key areas: the selection and matching of protégés and sponsors, focused roles for all participants, revamped accountability and success metrics, and rewards for successful participants.
The 10 teams brainstormed solutions for nearly three months and presented their ideas to a panel of distinguished judges at a UC Hastings College of the Law event in November 2018. During this brainstorming period, Andy received significant support and input from Drinker Biddle’s Women’s Leadership and Diversity & Inclusion Committees as they collaborated on how to best structure and implement the sponsorship program.
The 2016 Women in Law Hackathon, which was hosted by Diversity Lab in collaboration with Bloomberg Law and Stanford Law School, generated the Mansfield Rule as one of the event’s winning ideas. The Mansfield Rule is a groundbreaking program that aims to boost the representation of women, LGBTQ+ and minority lawyers in law firm hiring and leadership by requiring participating law firms to consider diverse candidates for significant leadership roles.