Notes from the President & CEO


Joseph K. West President & CEO TWO YEARS AGO A YOUNG ASSOCIATE NAMED TARSHA PHILLIBERT was named a “Rising Star” in this magazine. Today she is a partner at Jenner & Block where she is a member of the white collar defense and investigations practice. As we continue to feature attorneys in our network who are climbing the career ladder, it is fun to watch and revel in their professional achievements.

In this issue we feature twelve attorneys from our network who are in different stages in their careers. Some are associates just starting out in their first Big Law position, while others are moving into new leadership roles. Some have navigated routes through large law firms and others have moved in-house. There is a Korean-American who has only been practicing two years yet has handled negotiation and drafting of all documents for films starring Nicole Kidman and Jason Bateman. There is also an attorney who moved to a new position during the selection of this year’s Rising Stars. That position? General counsel. Regardless of where they are now, they are all moving on and up in the legal world. This group shows that for diverse lawyers, the sky is the limit.

It seems it was more than a year ago that the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the Defense of Marriage Act. It is now history. Looking back on that momentous achievement, we profile four attorneys who contributed to the landmark case: Roberta Kaplan, Mary Bonauto, James Esseks, and Pamela Karlan. While these four lawyers don’t represent a comprehensive roll call of lawyers who aided the decision, the outcome may have been very different if it were not for the talents of the four passionate attorneys.

This issue’s departments are especially strong: Nicole Jones, Cigna’s general counsel, shares her thoughts on diversity best practices and her career advice for aspiring in-house leaders. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz also spoke to the magazine and outlined his vision for the coming year. Horacio Gutierrez, another strong Latino voice (not to mention deputy general counsel of Microsoft), tells his story in our Spotlighting column. Finally, make sure to read our Association Focus column on Karamah. The group, comprised of Muslim women lawyers, seeks to educate the public about the difference between religion and culture in the Muslim world.

The diversity of the legal industry doesn’t surprise me. These stories are only a few that we hear about all the time. We want to share as many of them as we can with you.

Joseph K. West
President & CEO

Publications Staff

President & CEO
Joseph K. West

Founder and
Publisher Emeritus

Lloyd M. Johnson Jr.

Kim Howard, CAE


Publishing Consultants
Toni Coleman
Joanne Richcreek

Don Cooksey

Design/Art Direction
Quad/Graphics Creative


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
Lekan Oguntoyinbo
Joshua H. Shields

Past Notes from the President & CEO RSS Feed

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.

Summary: Diversity & the Bar's education issue shows that people never stop learning. Lawyers move on to new careers, law schools adapt to challenging times, and every year another corps of bright young students matriculates into law school and, hopefully, the legal workforce.

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  • Spotlighting…
    An Exceptional Attorney
  • Association Focus
    Profiling Like-Minded Legal Groups
  • Movers & Shakers
    Keep Track of Colleagues’ New Positions
  • Diversity News
    Stay up to date on all Events
  • Lawyer's Lantern
    Illuminating Career Advice from prominent attorneys
  • In Closing...
    Features a brief interview with an attorney that has made headlines for his or her work on a recent case

Media Kit


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