Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
As defined in our mission statement, the McBrayer law firm remains committed to the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion. The McBrayer law firm has created several initiatives to promote these principles within the firm and to substantiate our dedication to them. These efforts are spearheaded by our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee, currently including members of firm ownership, attorneys, and administrative staff. Some of our initiatives are discussed below.
Mansfield Certification Plus
In 2023, McBrayer achieved Mansfield Certification Plus under the Midsize Mansfield Rule.
After joining the rigorous 18-month 2022-2023 cohort, McBrayer PLLC is proud to announce that it has achieved Mansfield Certification Plus.
Mansfield Certification Plus, awarded by Diversity Lab, measures the structural changes and steps the firm has taken over the past year and a half to ensure internal paths to leadership – including lateral hiring, client pitch teams, promotions, appointments, and more – are open to all qualified lawyers. This is part of a larger effort the firm is undertaking through Mansfield to broaden the slate of talent considered for opportunities.
The “Plus” designation indicates that McBrayer has not only taken steps to increase inclusivity in leadership, it has made measured progress in doing so. Only half of the Certified firms achieved this honor this year.
McBrayer has undergone this effort alongside other top-tier firms and other legal departments that are also participating in Mansfield. Like them, McBrayer remains dedicated to opening the door wider to all qualified lawyers. In practical terms, whenever firm leaders make decisions about who to appoint or elect to leadership roles, they consider a broad pipeline of talent, including lawyers who are historically underrepresented in law. This same inclusive decision-making process occurs when building client pitch teams.
This process does not exclude anyone; it ensures that the talent pipeline includes additional qualified talent. The Mansfield framework helps McBrayer take an inclusive, structured, and data-driven approach to leadership advancement—and ensures the approach is consistent across offices and practice groups. This intentionality benefits everyone.
“The Midsize Mansfield Certification process was the centerpiece of our efforts in the last eighteen months to attract, retain and promote the widest possible pool of qualified, exceptional attorneys,” said James H. Frazier, III, Managing Member. “It is important that our firm makeup more accurately reflects our community and our clientele, and we’ve taken a crucial step in that direction.”
McBrayer is pleased to have reached this significant milestone and will continue to build teams that mirror our communities in order to provide exceptional service.
The McBrayer Visitorship
In partnership with the University of Kentucky, McBrayer has created a visitorship program to support an incoming UK Law student with an immersive visiting experience. This individual receives assistance with arranging accommodation in Lexington and transportation to and from the office, as well as a stipend for participation in the program. The McBrayer Visitor spends two weeks immersed in every aspect of our law firm and government affairs office.
The collaboration is part of the law school’s Bridging the Gap to Success initiative that aims to enhance not only diversity and inclusion in the legal profession but also opportunities for success for lawyers of color.
The McBrayer Fellowships
1. The University of Louisville McBrayer Fellowship
In partnership with the University of Louisville, McBrayer offers merit-based fellowships to first year law students who are from historically underrepresented groups, including, but not limited to, African American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, LGBTQ+, and multiracial students.
These students will be paired with both a Member and an Associate as mentors throughout their law education, they will take part in a paid summer internship between their 1L and 2L years, and they will be Summer Associates upon conclusion of their 2L year. Our hope is that these individuals will consider full-time employment with us upon graduation.
2. The University of Kentucky McBrayer Diversity and Equity Fellowship
In partnership with the University of Kentucky, McBrayer offers merit-based fellowships to first year law students who support the compelling interest and benefits of a diverse legal profession.
These students will be paired with both a Member and an Associate as mentors throughout their law education, they will take part in a four-week paid internship opportunity primarily in the Lexington office between their 1L and 2L years, they will be offered an optional four-week paid faculty research assistant position at the UK Rosenberg College of Law during the summer between their 1L and 2L years, and they will be considered for a Summer Associate position in one of the McBrayer offices upon conclusion of their 2L year. Our hope is that these individuals will consider full-time employment with us upon graduation.