Partner and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Duane Morris LLP
Joseph K. West is a partner in the trial group at Duane Morris, LLP. He also serves on the firm’s partners board and is also the firm's Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. He handles complex litigation matters and advises global companies on a wide array of matters. His clients currently include the Dubai based Al Ahli Holding Group; Mercedes Benz-USA, Altria, Discover Financial Services, Inc. and Jabil Circuit, Inc.
Joe was formerly Associate General Counsel - Head of Global Outside Counsel Management at Walmart Stores Inc. where he was responsible for managing the company's relationships with all of its outside law firms worldwide, including oversight of over 600 law firms and a budget of over $300 million. He was also a member of Walmart’s Class Action – Complex Litigation Group wherein he helped manage a number of groundbreaking matters including the largest class action matter in U.S. history.
Prior to his tenure at Walmart, he served as Assistant General Counsel in the Litigation Group at Entergy Corporation where he was lead trial counsel on a number of high profile jury and bench trials, appellate arguments and arbitrations on behalf of the then Fortune 200 utility company. Over the course of his career, he has argued hundreds of matters to conclusion on behalf of major corporate clients involving business and commercial disputes, labor and employment matters, catastrophic injuries, zoning and land use, utilities regulation, compliance, telecommunications and discrimination issues.
Joe is a nationally recognized expert on diversity and inclusion, having previously served as CEO of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), a national advocacy group that conducts research and training on corporate diversity and inclusion issues. He has lectured and written extensively on this issue and currently represents, trains and advises numerous publically traded companies, their boards and CEOs on issues related to diversity and inclusion and the compliance, risk management and corporate strategies associated with this important and growing area of concern. Mr. West was recently elected to the board of directors of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
Mr. West was appointed by ABA President Paulette Brown to the ABA Commission on Diversity and Inclusion 360. He currently serves as a member of the Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar which oversees the accreditation of the nation’s law schools. He was a member of the ABA Task Force on the Financing of Legal Education, and has served on the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. He was also a member of the Association of Corporate Counsel's ACC Value Challenge Steering Committee and formerly served on the Arts Council of New Orleans and the Walton Arts Center Corporate Leadership Council. Additionally, former Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco appointed him to chair the Louisiana State Museum Board.
He is a graduate of Tulane Law School and formerly served as an adjunct professor of trial advocacy at Tulane. He currently lectures at the George Mason Antonin Scalia School of Law on corporate leadership and diversity and was recently retained by the school to help develop the first of its kind curriculum in corporate diversity and inclusion.