The Bucks County Law Department last week achieved Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Certification – the first county law department in the country to do so – an official acknowledgment of its efforts to promote diversity of background and thought among its ranks.
The opt-in certification process pushes legal departments to expand their pool of qualified applicants when hiring, especially for leadership-track positions.
Bucks County Solicitor Amy Fitzpatrick (pictured), herself the first woman to head the Law Department, said that in seeking certification, the department aimed to build a welcoming and inclusive environment where employees feel they can grow and have a path to career advancement.
“It is critical to do more than just talk about diversity and inclusion,” Fitzpatrick said. “Having a mix of legal minds ensures our team is ready to support the County now and in the future. The Law Department’s efforts demonstrate that there are incredibly talented individuals in our community who are available for hire.”
The certification takes its name from Arabella Mansfield, the first woman admitted to practice law in the United States. The structured certification process is designed to help participating legal firms and departments create leadership pathways that include demographics historically underrepresented in the legal profession.
According to DiversityLab, as of 2023 more than 360 law firms and more than 75 legal departments in the United States, Canada and United are participating in the certification process.
To earn certification, the Bucks County Law Department developed benchmarks and measurement systems to track consideration, hiring, promotions and career development of attorneys from historically underrepresented groups and backgrounds. This included the adoption of proactive hiring practices focused on reaching women, underrepresented races and ethnicities, individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ and people with disabilities.
Click here to learn more about the process of achieving Mansfield Certification.
“Bucks County faces new challenges every day, and tackling those issues requires a diversity of thought that you simply can’t achieve without a diverse workforce,” said Commissioner Chair Bob Harvie. “We’re proud of the strides the Law Department has made to build an inclusive staff that is reflective of the residents it serves. Their efforts should be a model for the rest of the County.”
To learn about employment opportunities with the Law Department, or any of the numerous county departments, row offices and agencies, visit BucksCounty.gov/jobs.
Media Contact: James O’Malley, 215-348-6414, [email protected]