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Lawyer’s Lantern


WHO IS JOE WEST? BY LORI L. GARRETT


12


After working with Joe West for a mere 35 days, one thing is clear to me: He is a very connected guy. He was stopped at every turn by old friends wishing to con- gratulate him at MCCA’s recent Creating Pathways to Diversity Conference— MCCA’s first event since Joe became the organization’s new president and CEO in September. On a recent call with him, he rattled off a list of contacts for me to follow up with for our next Pathways Conference in 2012—friends he called them. All of these friends happen to be prominent lawyers working across the globe. It is no surprise to me that he is so well connected, however, given he used to be responsible for managing over 600 external law firms and 25,000 legal timekeepers for one of the larg- est retailers in the world. But, as I get to know Joseph K. West, I am quickly learning that he is way more than a walking Rolodex.


J DIVERSITY & THE BAR® NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011


oe comes to MCCA from Walmart Stores, Inc., where since 2007 he was Associate General Counsel and he most recently headed the com- pany’s Outside Counsel Management program. He was also heavily involved in helping further Walmart’s diversity program. Prior to joining Walmart, Joe worked as senior counsel for litiga- tion and as assistant general counsel at Entergy Corp., an energy company that delivers electricity to customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts,


Mississippi, New York, Texas, and Vermont. He earned his J.D. from Tulane Law School and his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Southern University in Baton Rouge, La. He brings 25 years of legal experience to the position. He’s connected, had a fi ne career as a practicing lawyer,


and he is quite accomplished. I had the chance to sit down with Joe and chat with him about what else there is to know about him, his thoughts about MCCA’s potential, and how he plans to help MCCA achieve this potential.


Describe your most valuable mentoring experience as a mentee and/or mentor. I have been very, very fortunate to have a number of people who have provided mentoring for me. But I think probably the most important mentoring that I have ever received was from my parents. T ey taught me the value


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