Notes from the President & CEO

It’s Time to Be More

Joseph K. West President & CEO I RECEIVED A CALL FROM A LARGE LAW FIRM PARTNER who lives in Baltimore as that city had its recent turn in the curious spotlight that tends to follow those all too familiar tragic incidents that arrive tinged with racial overtones. He said wearily, "What's happening to my B'More?" It was a reminder of the universal import of the principles of inclusiveness and the fact that every organization-whether public or private, and regardless of purpose-needs the tools to implement these principles in a meaningful way.

Annually, when we create the agenda for our Pathways to Diversity Conference, we focus on three tracks: talent optimization, global diversity and inclusion, and inclusive leadership and management. We fill our panels with general counsel and other c-suite executives who are not only leaders in their organizations, but in the legal industry. Their shared expertise and your ability to benchmark your organization are two excellent reasons to attend the conference. If you want to round out the "reasons to attend list" with a third, it's the built-in networking time. Visit to review our conference agenda, register or to find out about sponsorship opportunities for this June 29 event.

On the heels of our Pathways to Diversity Conference is the MCCA Diversity Gala on June 30 that honors leading corporate law departments and individuals who champion diversity and inclusion. This year, we are excited to recognize the Hon. Deval L. Patrick as our Lifetime Achievement Award honoree. We also have Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith as our keynote speaker. The Dance Theatre of Harlem will be the night's entertainment. Richard Lui, news anchor from MSNBC and NBC, will be our host and, all of this will take place at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. What a beautiful venue to showcase our annual award winners. Details about the Diversity Gala can be found at I hope to see you there.

This month's cover story is about our LMJ Scholarship recipients. Established in 2004, the LMJ Scholarship program seeks to nurture the academic and professional careers of outstanding law students and advance the diversity pipeline to the legal profession. The first class of scholars started receiving money in 2005, so 2015 marks the 10-year anniversary for this groundbreaking program that helps diverse law students. Because the scholarship program is such an important part of MCCA's history, we wanted to do more than just showcase the current recipients. We wanted to follow the career trajectories of previous scholars and find out how they are giving back. So, over the next several issues of Diversity & the Bar, you will see a series of articles that follows up with them. For details about our LMJ Scholarship program, please visit

We appreciate your continued support of MCCA and our collective dedication to the mission of making the legal profession better by making it more inclusive. It is a mission that is universal and one, which allows each of us to "Be More."

Joseph K. West
President & CEO

Publications Staff

President & CEO
Joseph K. West

Founder and
Publisher Emeritus

Lloyd M. Johnson Jr.



Kimberly A. Howard, CAE


M.J. Mrvica Associates, Inc.

Design/Art Direction
BonoTom Studio, Inc.


MCCA Staff
Shikha Bhatnagar
Mahzarine Chinoy
David Chu
Donna Crook
Charles H. Hollins, Jr.
Behnaz Mistry
Aracely Muñoz Petrich
Andrea Pimm


Past Notes from the President & CEO RSS Feed

Summary: This month’s cover story is about our LMJ Scholarship recipients. Established in 2004, the LMJ Scholarship program seeks to nurture the academic and professional careers of outstanding law students and advance the diversity pipeline to the legal profession.

Summary: This issue showcases not only an expanded content direction for Diversity & the Bar, but provides insight into the best of the best.

Summary: Is there a more powerful and influential industry on earth than the movie industry? Is there a more powerful and influential position than the presidency of the United States? If the answer to these questions is “yes”, then what should we make of the recent revelation that Sony executives, while preparing to attend a fundraiser for President Obama, regaled each other with racist jokes at the president’s expense?

Summary: THE LAST FEW MONTHS HAVE NOT BEEN KIND to leadership figures in the wide world of sports. The well-publicized racist comments and actions of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling were followed by the revelation of even more bigoted comments from Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson and General Manager Danny Ferry about that teams’ fans and a minority player.

Summary: MY ALMOST TEENAGE DAUGHTER RECENTLY TOLD ME THAT SHE IS CONSIDERING A CAREER IN THE LAW. She said that she was influenced after watching my closing argument in a jury trial I conducted seven years ago. I was flattered, but I also have mixed feelings about her career choice.

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