Law firms that participated in the first few rounds of the Mansfield Rule certification process through legal industry diversity organization Diversity Lab saw racial and ethnic diversity in their management committees increase more than other firms—by a factor of 30.

The news bodes well for the legal industry, which has seen decades of slow and incremental progress in bringing more women and racial and ethnic minority attorneys into the fold, and particularly into partnership and leadership. And the architects of the program—Diversity Lab Founder and CEO Caren Ulrich Stacy and Chief Intelligence & Knowledge Sharing Officer Lisa Kirby—say the annual certification model means that there is hope for sustained progress.