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The legal industry is changing but to what, for whom, where, why and how? Join us each month to learn about the next best practices in legal practice and how it applies to your firm or organisation. Learn from the people who are “walking the talk.” Hear what they are doing and what has driven them to do things differently for their clients, their people, their organisations and themselves and, how they measure and learn from success and failure. We’re going to get candid, super practical and yes, we’re going to get legally innovative too!

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Sep 21, 2022

In 2013, after many years working in large law firms and co-founding one of the first legal metrics start-ups, Caren Ulrich Stacy took time out to reflect on how she could bring together what she had done with what she had experienced to solve a problem that keeps knocking at her door – how do women who had left legal practice for a variety of different reasons, find their way back to it?

The answer was the OnRamp Fellowship, the first returnship program for law firms that later extended to legal departments. It grew into the Diversity Lab, an incubator for innovative ways of boosting diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. The Lab ran a series of Women in Law Hackathons from 2016 – The Mansfield Rule was an idea from the first Hackathon that grew wings in US, Canadian and UK law firms and legal departments too. Named after the first woman lawyer in the US, Arabella Mansfield, its focus is on boosting and sustaining diversity in leadership and the pipeline to leadership. 

The Lab also subsequently established the Move the Needle initiative, a wonderful collaborative experiment between the Lab and four founding law firms, resourced over 5 years, the outcome being to produce empirical data (which will include a Report) about diversity and inclusion in hiring, retention and advancement. The Report, when released, promises to provide a tried and tested blueprint for advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal industry.

What Caren has accomplished with the Diversity Lab and these two amazing initiatives (of many) we discussed, is remarkable and outstanding! What’s also critically important is that the work and outcomes are supported, every step of the way, with data, data analysis, and metrics – they provide an empirical and quantifiable foundation that differentiates these initiatives from others and, tells a story that is both deeply personal but also objectively verifiable! 

Caren is the Founder & CEO of the Diversity Lab; the Founder of its On Ramp Fellowship; was recently appointed as the Lead Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility Advisor to the USPTO; holds roles with the UN Women initiative, and holds Fellowships at The College of Law Practice Management and the Tory Burch Foundation.

If you would prefer to watch rather than listen to this podcast, you’ll find the video here.

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In the Future 50 Series we’re chatting with legalpreneurs who, through their ideas and actions, are challenging and transforming legal BAU all around the world.

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