James Lipscomb is a remarkable individual. He has accomplished a stellar career and compiled a record of outstanding achievement benefitting his employer and his community. He has accomplished these objectives despite being a minority lawyer in the tough world of corporate America. Mr. Lipscomb rose from the bottom of a corporate legal department to become one of the most prominent and successful General Counsel in the United States. Mr. Lipscomb is Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Metlife.
I had the opportunity of attending a speech by Mr. Lipscomb at MetLife’s impressive New York headquarters. I recall admiring his eloquence and his charisma. I thought to myself that he would be a compelling advocate in the courtroom. However, Mr. Lipscomb’s battlefield has not been in the courtroom. Mr. Lipscomb’s battlefield has been in the boardroom and in the playing field of giants who serve as principal legal officers for some of the largest companies in the world.
The challenges faced by Mr. Lipscomb and other minority in-house counsel are unique. In addition to overcoming traditional obstacles to getting hired, many have to work through a myriad of issues to remain employed, get challenging assignments and to climb the corporate ladder. Succeeding in an environment where power is carefully guarded and success may or may not be rewarded is difficult and challenging. James Lipscomb has successfully faced the challenges of corporate life and he is poised to retire at the top of his game.
Mr. Lipscomb has been directly responsible for broadening opportunities for minority defense lawyers. I salute him and congratulate him on his retirement. I hope he enjoys his retirement with the knowledge that the milestones he achieved during his career will have a lasting impact on minority attorneys for years to come. To learn more about Mr. Lipscomb and his impressive career, please see the Minority Corporate Counsel Association article written about him by Patrick Folliard entitled Honoring Excellence.