Notes from the President & CEO


Joseph K. West President & CEO

THIS ISSUE OF DIVERSITY & THE BAR LANDS ON DESKS before MCCA's Pathways to Diversity conference and just prior to the release of MCCA's Annual General Counsel Survey.  This makes it fitting that the conference's opening plenary session will feature a GC "town hall" where law department leaders will discuss the current realities of in-house practice, and both their expectations and the challenges that come with the territory. Since 1999, MCCA has tracked the progression of women and minority GCs in the ranks of the Fortune 1000. This year, this town hall discussion will illuminate the issues lying behind the numbers.

This year’s conference will also take place for the first time in Washington, D.C., making it equally appropriate that the other plenary session will focus on the 60th anniversary of the seminal U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka and Hernandez v. Texas; in which legal scholars will discuss the history and impact of these cases and the advancements in both society and the legal profession since. Leading the discussion will be actor and humanitarian Laurence Fishburne, whose portrayal of Justice Thurgood Marshall in the one-man play Thurgood helped personify the heroism of that era.

The common thread of these seemingly unrelated themes is a strong one: The historic work of those who helped eliminate barriers to inclusion decades ago is coming to fruition in this current age. The challenge for us is to determine where we stand in the trajectory of the movement, why its continued evolution is important, and what we each must do to see that it continues.

Joseph K. West
President & CEO

Publications Staff

President & CEO
Joseph K. West

Founder and
Publisher Emeritus

Lloyd M. Johnson Jr.

Kimberly A. Howard, CAE


Publishing Consultants
Toni Coleman
Joanne Richcreek

Don Cooksey

Design/Art Direction
Creative Solutions


MCCA Staff
Mahzarine Chinoy
David Chu
Donna Crook
Charles H. Hollins, Jr.
Jessica Martinez
Aracely Muñoz Petrich
Andrea Pimm


Contributing Writers
Tom Calarco
Adrienne Dominguez
Patrick Folliard
Jonathan Groner
Lekan Oguntoyinbo
Joshua H. Shields
Jessica Weiss


Past Notes from the President & CEO RSS Feed

Summary: Two years ago a young associate named Tarsha Phillibert was named a “Rising Star” in this magazine.

Summary: In 2014 MCCA plans to focus on the most substantive areas or our mission and to do so in three main areas:

Summary: On September 17, 2013, MCCA presented Xerox Chairwoman and CEO Ursula Burns with its 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award at its sold out Diversity Honors Gala. It was the first time MCCA recognized a non-lawyer with its biggest honor. That certainly does not mean she is not deserving.

Summary: When I first started practicing law, I rarely saw general counsel of color, particularly at the Fortune® 500 level. The past few years have seen gradual, progressive growth across all industries.

Summary: Predictably, the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in the watershed affirmative action case of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin unleashed a flood of analysis from many quarters.

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