The Legal Department

7 Things I Did To Become A General Counsel: Joe Schohl On His Path To The Legal Department

 

Joe Schohl set out to become a public company GC before turning 40. He wrote this goal on a piece of paper and carried it in his pocket until he landed a General Counsel role at the nation’s largest dialysis provider, Davita, at age 34. He later became Chief Legal Officer of Radiology Partners and also founded the health law firm General Counsel West, where he currently serves as Chairman. A lifelong learner, Joe recently became an ICF-certified executive coach. In this episode, he shares his journey into his first general counsel role and the lessons he learned along the way. Inspired by his LinkedIn Post “7 Things I Did to Become a General Counsel,” this episode offers concrete advice for attorneys aspiring to the lead in-house role.

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7 Things I Did To Become A General Counsel: Joe Schohl On His Path To The Legal Department

I’m Joe Schohl. I’m the Chairman and Founder of the healthcare law firm, General Counsel West. I’m a former general counsel at two different healthcare companies. I’m also an executive coach for GCs and aspiring GCs. I’m the father of four brilliant, strong, and beautiful young women. A fun fact about me is that I love to run and I once invited my then-girlfriend to run with me in a 6-day 120-mile stage race for teams of two on trails across the Rocky Mountains. That led to a marriage proposal after she said she would only share a tent with me for six nights if we were husband and wife. We were married two months before the race, trained on our honeymoon, completed the race, and have been happily married ever since.

I’m speaking with Joe Schohl. He’s the Principal of General Counsel West, which is a law firm that caters to healthcare in-house counsel. He is also a former Fortune 500 general counsel and is also an executive coach. Joe, thanks for coming to the show.

Thanks. It’s great to be here.

I’ve heard your name around for many years probably because we circle the same watering holes in healthcare. The feedback I’ve gotten from a lot of folks is what a great mentor you are to other in-house and outside lawyers. I’m excited to be able to share your expertise with our audience.

I look forward to it.

I reached out to you after a LinkedIn post that you did. I interpreted it as a reflective piece on seven steps or seven things you did to become a general counsel. I thought it was a thoughtful article, and I wanted to dig into a couple of areas that resonated with me if that’s okay.

I wrote that piece because I was often asked for advice on how to become a GC. The first thing I would always say and still say is that there’s no one right way to become a GC. This was my way, you have your way, and everybody has their way but people would want to know anyway. I decided to reflect and then write down what happened on my path that led me into that chair.

We didn’t talk about this before but I wonder. As you were starting your legal career, was an in-house general counsel position something that you had on your radar screen? Did it evolve?

It was on my radar screen very early on. Even when I was a corporate associate at the two law firms that I worked at, I knew that’s what I ultimately wanted to do. I’ve heard you refer to it as a residency at the law firms. That’s how I considered it as well. It’s a training ground for what I ultimately wanted to do, which was work in-house.

I want to talk more about the role and especially the experience of being a public company GC, which for some people feels like a brass ring that they’re reaching for. I do remember that one of your LinkedIn posts had a picture. You had written on a piece of paper, “I will be a public company GC by the time I’m 40.”

I had written that on a piece of paper and carried it around with me. I recreated it for that LinkedIn post. It is a true story.

I had other guests talk about this as well. Having business acumen or being business-focused is a table stakes for the role. In your journey to the GC chair, you wrote that developing that business acumen was a key along that way. Can you talk a little bit about that?

In any company, the GC is a business lawyer first and foremost. That’s how you get that role. To be a business lawyer, you have to understand how business works. You have to understand how your particular company’s business works and the industry that it operates in. From early on, learning how to develop your business acumen is important so that’s a natural extension of what you do by the time you get that opportunity rather than something you’re cramming for.

To be a business lawyer, you should understand how business works and how your company's business works and the industry that it operates in. Share on X

You went and got an MBA if I was following correctly. Did you feel like that was needed? You’re also pursuing another Master’s degree now. Are you a school junkie and a lifelong learner? Do you think getting an MBA is a requirement for the role?

As A Lifelong Learner

I don’t think it’s a requirement for the role. I am a lifelong learner, and I benefit from having a structure around that. That’s why I pursued the MBA because I knew it would be a forcing function to do the things that I wanted to do and learn the things that I wanted to learn, all of which can be done on your own and all of which can be done on the job.

I was in the evening program while working full-time. I would have the benefit of learning something the night before and then coming in. I would joke that I would be the most annoying person to the other management team because I would be asking them, “Why are you doing that? Should you be doing this?” in their areas but only in a joking way. That was a lot of fun, and it was a great way to apply what I was learning in real time.

I don’t know if you had all four kids at that time. I’ve thought about pursuing another degree but it feels so overwhelming. Kudos to you for taking that on with a full-time job and a full house at home too.

I had one and then the second one while I was in business school. The business school was right across the street from the hospital. It made it incredibly convenient. It was back when I was in Chicago.

It was meant to be. If folks don’t have either the time, resources, or ambition to pursue an MBA, what are other ways that they can develop those business skills? People do talk about this, and for some of us, it’s natural that you have an interest in the business and you want to be business-focused but maybe other lawyers are more linear in that legal box. Do you have any thoughts on how folks can think a little more broadly and develop those business skills?

Ask Questions

Whether you’re in an MBA program or not, the best way to learn is to ask questions, not be afraid to ask questions and do as much of your homework ahead of that as you can so that your questions are informed. I’ve never met business people who are annoyed that their lawyers want to understand what their objectives are or why their objectives are that. The people around you who are your clients inside of a company are going to be a great source of information.

The best way to learn is to ask questions and not be afraid to ask questions. Share on X

Following the news and industry publications in the world in which you operate and attending conferences to stay updated on the latest developments are all good ways. Fundamentally, the area that probably is most intimidating for some lawyers is to learn the basics of finance. You could google the basics of finance and accounting for lawyers and probably even for in-house lawyers and get any number of resources, whether they’re articles, books, conferences, or courses that you can attend. Where I would start is with the basics of finance. The numbers are often the most intimidating and also most important.

That was a big surprise for me when I moved in-house when we would be in meetings or board meetings. All of a sudden, you’re looking at a financial statement, and you’re like, “Am I supposed to know what this means?” I picked it up along the way. I’m already an A student in your class. USC offered financial basics for business people at their business school, and I took a little seminar class on it. It was revealing. The nomenclature of financial statements and the difference between the income statement and the balance sheet are important basics for folks to get in place.

Many of the decisions that benefit from your legal input are ultimately business decisions that you will want to tailor your legal advice according to the risks and benefits that they present and understanding the revenue expenses and how things flow.

It’s the timing of the financial accruals, the fiscal year, and all those sorts of things.

One thing that was surprising to me early on is business people would rather have a settlement structured in the form of a contract that’s going to lead to greater revenues or lower expenses over time rather than a lump sum payment. It affects the income statement rather than the balance sheet. Most valuations are done off the income statement. That’s more valuable.


LEGD 8 | General Counsel
General Counsel: Business people would rather have a settlement structured in a contract form, leading to greater revenues or lower expenses over time, rather than a lump sum payment.

 

It’s a very interesting point. If you were coming from a law firm, you might not know to ask those kinds of questions, “When do you want to get the payment? How do you want to get the payment? Is it better for you over time? Should it be made to one of our subsidiaries?” There are so many different nuances. It’s not always A to B when you’re in-house.

What’s your ultimate objective? Do you want to win the case? What lawyers assume is the objective but it’s not always the objective. Often, it’s to get leverage to get a better business deal.

Related to business acumen, one of the other points from your article was that you focused on intrinsic versus extrinsic rewards. I did a show with a lawyer executive coach where we talked about the pressure or the feeling that having external achievements, titles, and money can give you one type of short-term satisfaction but building larger relationships, going deeper into what you want, and the value you deliver can offer greater fulfillment.

Intrinsic Value

I’m not sure if intrinsic versus extrinsic is the right way to say it because what I’m trying to say is there’s more value than what you’re getting in your paycheck. It’s way more valuable than that oftentimes, especially in jobs early in your career. It’s the experience that you’re gaining that is going to make you way more valuable even financially in the future, not to focus on, “How much am I making? How much am I making relative to other people?” Way more important than that is, “What experiences am I getting that are going to make me more valuable in the future?”

You took either a step back or pay cuts a couple of times in your career for that experience. Can you share some of those examples?

The first pay cut I took was from one law firm to another, and that was driven by geography. The second pay cut I took was to go in-house, which is a common one, and that was to gain experience. In an in-house role, I did a series of lateral moves. They weren’t cuts but if I had stayed in the role that I was in, I would have had more short-term upward mobility but I was willing to trade that off for getting the breadth of experience.

As the progression upward, did you see it was going to have a ceiling or that you had an interest or curiosity to learn another area?

It goes back to the first goal, which is to begin with the end in mind. Wanting to be the GC to get deeper in one role is not as valuable as getting exposed to other roles because if you’re going to get that opportunity, you’re going to be in charge of all those areas and benefit from having at least experienced more of them.

To get deeper in one role is not as valuable as to get exposed to other roles. Share on X

It is hard to keep your eye on the ball though. Maybe that piece of paper in your pocket kept you focused short term to take a pay cut. You have many mouths to feed at this point.

Keep Your Expenses In Check And Priorities Straight

There are two thoughts. One is that’s why you commit to a goal, and that’s why you write it down to remind yourself. The act of writing it down is a commitment in and of itself. The second thing I’ll say is that in my first in-house job, I worked at a company where the CEO was truly a role model and mentor. He drove a Toyota, and he was home for dinner every night. Those were things he taught. He lived that way. I used that. If you keep your expenses in check and keep your priorities straight, you can have a lot more opportunities to make decisions that are best for the long term rather than maximizing the short term.

How old were you when you noticed that? That’s a profound example.

I was in my 30s. The company was Baxter, and the CEO was Harry Kraemer.

A pharma company CEO driving a Toyota is something you probably don’t see these days. I also wonder from a cultural standpoint, and this is taking us in a different direction. Looking at your peers or your boss and seeing how they live, there is something to that tone at the top. I could imagine that if the boss saw you cruising in a Porsche 911, you might not have moved into some of those other roles.

That’s a good point.

One thing I wanted personally, not just for the audience, is you talked about making sure there’s time for deep work and what I call white space on the calendar. I aspire to do this. I want this but I am terrible at doing it. I’m looking for some hints here because I do something that I’ve heard other people call procrastiwork where there is no shortage. That inbox is constantly ticking up, and there’s constantly someone at your door and on the phone. There are plenty of places to park your attention. Somehow, I have a hard time giving myself the luxury of time to work on the big stuff. How did you do that?

It was Peter Drucker who said this, and I won’t get the numbers right but it was something like, “The average executive has 800 hours of unfinished work and always will.” Some of that unfinished work is the important work but it’s not begging for your attention. I don’t want to turn it into a coaching conversation.

I’m throwing you a softball here.

I wouldn’t start this way in a coaching conversation. I would make you go first. What I did was block time on the calendar for deep work. I would put an hour in the morning first thing and an hour at the end of the day when I wanted to end my day in that spot. My assistant knew. If they want to schedule something in that block because it’s the CEO, a board member, or a project that they know is very important and urgent, they could do it but only if there was another space to move that time block into shortly thereafter or right before.

If there wasn’t, then they had to either move something else to make room for it, look for another time, or have a conversation with me. There were times when you wind up going without your deep work block but not lots of days in a row and not having any time to do that because ultimately, what got us into the chair and what they’re paying for us or the value is not how good we are at email, on the phone, or in meetings but it’s our ability to analyze, think, and be creative. All of that is very hard when you’re talking or listening to other people.


LEGD 8 | General Counsel
General Counsel: People pay us the value of our ability to analyze, think, and be creative.

 

That is a good nugget right there. Let me ask this. You’re blocking the time and using the assistant to hold you accountable and to be the gatekeeper. There is the dopamine brain, “I’ve got a ding. I’ve got a notice.” Did you physically move yourself from the computer? Did you turn off the email? Did you have an amazing willpower that you didn’t get sucked into that inbox?

I highly recommend doing it offline but sometimes, we need things in our Outlook to do that deep work. You can easily click the button that says Work Offline, and then you have access to your folders without new things coming in because it’s the new things that our brains are attracted to and that will distract us from what we’re doing.

I also use this. I don’t know if it’s an app but it’s called Focus@Will. You choose a type of music and duration and then have headphones on for as long as that music is continuing. It’s specially designed music to help you improve your focus and concentration. Especially if you use Bose noise-canceling headphones, it puts you in a different place. I find that very effective.

I like the early and at the end of the day because I don’t know about you but at the end of the day, my desk looks like a bomb went off.

I like doing both because if you can get one of them in, your life is going to be that much better, whether it’s on the front end or the back end. This gives you two chances for success.

How many days a week, 2, 3, or 5?

I would put it on my calendar for every day.

That’s impressive. Kudos.

It’s important too as outside counsel. How often are in-house lawyers sitting there with a bunch of outside counsel on the phone and thinking about how much this is costing? It’s not on those calls where outside counsel is adding their value. It’s when they’re not on the phone with you, and they’re thinking about your problem and how to solve it. That’s where the value is created. I have to remind myself that a full calendar with a bunch of calls with clients is fine but it’s not lasting in terms of how they’re going to want you back because you solved their problem.

You have to have time to achieve the result. I used to spend time early in the morning doing a lot of reading. You could read 24/7 and not be caught up on it but now, my mornings are taken up with this stuff, which I’m enjoying as well. Back on the fulfillment track, you wrote about thinking about from your career starting point who you want to be, not what you want to achieve. I don’t know if that’s a values question or how you want to show up at work if that was part of it.

That’s something that I’ve formalized because every year, I would set goals and they would be, “What do I want to achieve?” Every year, they would look a lot like the prior year. Lots of times, they were things that had been on the list for 7 or 8 years in a row, and they would show up again. I decided to set different goals and a new type of goal. One is reflecting on who I want to be, not just what I want to achieve. It has been super helpful.

I have them taped up near my desk. I find myself when working and responding to an email or a phone call having those guide the way I interact with people, which is exactly what I want them to do. They’re, “Be kind, be useful, be ready, and be grateful.” Those are the four that I chose. They’re these eulogy virtues. There are a lot of people who talk about them in different ways but ultimately, how do you want people to remember you and how you interacted with them? None of it is about, “I was general counsel of this company at this age.”

It’s not the resume stats. I talk a lot about the coaching work I’ve done. A different way to look at the career is who you are in those leadership moments, for example. I talked in one episode about how I got into coaching because I felt like I wasn’t always showing up for my team in a way that made them feel energized or appreciated. The only way to fix that is to look at how you are showing up.

Have A Positive Influence

I heard that, and I love that story. It resonated with me because that’s how we are as lawyers. We’re achievement-driven. We’re trying to accomplish a task, and we don’t always appreciate how that’s showing up to other people. When you’re an in-house lawyer, you’re part of a team by definition. Whether that’s a big team within the legal department and/or a big team within the company on the management team, that’s critical to being effective in your job. It’s being able to have a positive influence on people. In a leadership position like yours or a GC position, you have an opportunity to shape the culture of the whole company.


LEGD 8 | General Counsel
General Counsel: As lawyers, we’re achievement-driven. We try to accomplish a task, and we don’t always appreciate how that’s showing up to other people.

 

It’s wild though because you don’t think about it. When you wrote that piece of paper that you were going to be a public company GC by 40, I bet you didn’t know that it wasn’t being the top lawyer but it was being the leader of a team, setting the tone, and making people feel good in your presence. If you think of life or career in terms of the achievement and the hardware on the wall or the bullets on the resume, it’s so much more than that.

When we talked before, we arrived at the same thought. This bleeds into the coaching part of your career, which is the GC role. I don’t think people realize that it’s a lonely job. You are leading a team. I always used to say, “The parents have to be okay,” especially in my last role when we had multiple scandals at the same time. I felt like I had to show up, “It’s all cool. Mom and Dad are fine.” I couldn’t show up frazzled and stressed out but then you also have to project this presence to your executive team and your executive peers. In some respects, it’s a lonely job.

It’s like the other C-Suite jobs probably like the CEO job and the CFO job but as lawyers, we’re on average less likely to build relationships with other GCs the way you see CEOs in YPO or whatever organizations they belong to in order to alleviate some of that feeling like you’re in it alone. There hasn’t been as much of that for GCs. It is a lonely job.

That’s part of the reason why I wanted to start the show, quite frankly. Having done a few conferences where I’ve facilitated a legal ops conversation or a GC conversation, I felt a hunger in the room for other in-house folks about connecting and sharing stories and tips. I couldn’t agree more that having that network of people who know exactly where you are and what you’re dealing with is so important.

Self-Reliant People

I’ve often thought about why is it that we’re that way, and part of it is self-reliant people tend to get these positions and then also confidentiality. We’re very concerned about confidentiality. What does that mean for having conversations? There are plenty of conversations you can have that won’t make you any less capable. You’re still self-reliant but you’re tapping into resources that are available. None of this has to violate any confidentiality. It’s just sharing best practices and ways of dealing with things.

You may not feel this way but in the legal training, especially the law school training and the law firm training, the expectation is, “I know the answer. I will tell you I know the answer and then hustle, research, and get the answer.” Maybe this is personal baggage. Admitting that you don’t know or being vulnerable even with a peer that you might need help is something that many lawyers resist.

How powerful is it when you see somebody in a leadership GC role say, “I don’t know but let’s find out.” Business people love that. It doesn’t have to be, “I don’t know,” to everything but it can be, “I don’t know. Here’s what I think but we will do some research to see if it backs that up.”

They appreciate that. I also think it helps build credibility. I cannot know everything. They would ask me ERISA questions, “I’m sorry. I don’t know. I learned about preemption for five seconds in a class, one time in law school but other than that, I’m not your ERISA girl.”

We’re trained at the very early days of law school to know it all. That’s not realistic in these jobs.

We have to shed that. That’s why I wanted to transition into your coaching practice. When we talked before, you do provide legal services but then you’re also a sounding board and providing coaching services to GCs and others. I would love to hear more about that.

After I left what I call my last GC job, I had people reach out and ask if I would do some coaching to help them. They were people who either were new GCs or who wanted to be GCs. I worked with them, and hopefully, they found it helpful. I enjoyed it. I decided this was something I wanted to do. In law school, you don’t show up, and you’re this great lawyer. You don’t show up, and you’re this great coach.

I decided I wanted to go through a formal coach training program. I knew I needed that because I wanted to move from advocacy to inquiry because people do a lot better when you’re helping them figure out for themselves what the right path is for them versus you telling them the path they should take. I needed training for that, especially after 30 years of lawyering and advice-giving.

We talked about law school. I remember vividly an experience that I had in law school very early on as a 1L where I was put on the spot by a professor asking me what was deficient in this analysis by a judge in a written opinion. I thought, “Who am I to question or second-guess what a federal judge decided with all their experience and wisdom?” You go through the process of learning how to think like a lawyer, and then you can’t read or listen to anything in the future without that mindset of analysis, valuation, and judgment. That’s fun for the people around you. It has been the same way with coaching.

You and I have a mutual friend, Caren Weakley, who’s an excellent GC and a phenomenal executive coach. She’s the one who opened my eyes to the greater potential for creating lasting change with a client in more traditional coaching versus mentoring. I decided that if this was something I was going to do, I owed it to my future clients to seek out formal training, which is what I did. I became an ICF-certified coach. It was a nearly yearlong process, and there were times when I thought it was too much but, in the end, it was worth it for what I learned.

I love connecting. One of my favorite things about being a general counsel is leading the team and helping them develop but I would struggle with that inquiry part because I would be like, “Can’t you do this?” I would want to be directive.

It’s more efficient to tell them what to do.

“Get out of your way. Stop doing this.”

The benefit in the coaching space comes from creating that space for self-reflection and awareness on their part, which leads them to identify the areas where they want to further develop. You can help direct them to create a concrete action plan for leveling up those skills and identifying resources that can help all in this framework of accountability and feedback that allows for adjustments and adaptations as they go. I would have loved to have had that when I was coming up. That’s what I want to create for my clients.

Let me ask. Does that skillset make you a different lawyer? You do still practice law. How does the inquiry and the coaching framework impact your practice?

I still practice law. I’ve become a better listener. Part of that is with age, you realize God gave us one mouth and two ears for a reason.

Those clients are calling you and paying you an hourly rate for an answer, not for, “Tell me how you’re going to do that.”

The answer is almost always better when you ask them questions before you tell them because there’s always something that was missing from the first question that makes all the difference.

Are you coaching folks who are your legal clients? Are they separate? Are there some overlaps?

There are some that we’re not providing outside counsel services for, and there are some that are. It’s a mix.

It’s almost a twofer to have somebody who is giving you legal advice and then coaching you on how to be more effective in your role. That’s a great combo.

It’s a great value for people. I do charge less for coaching because legal services are so expensive. The coaching comes at a much lower rate.

I’m sure everyone appreciates that. I’m sure we could talk more about your road to the GC seat. I want to talk a little bit about when you got there. I had a friend who talked about wanting to be a public company GC. I’ve only been GC in nonprofits, which does have quite a bit of accountability because we get a lot of government funds. Tax returns are open. To me, a public company GC feels like way more scrutiny than I would want. What was it like when you got there?

When I became GC for the first time at a public company, I was in my mid-30s. It had been an M&A and securities lawyer and was way in over my head. It was one learning experience after another. Shortly after I joined, we did abet the company acquisition.

Was this at DaVita?

This was at DaVita.

This is the nation’s largest dialysis company.

We did an acquisition of one of our major competitors. It was double the size of the company. It was held up by the FTC for nearly a year. One of the first things I had to learn was to convince my CEO that it wasn’t the fault of the legal team that it was taking so long. When we were spending way too much money on outside counsel for things that we could do better inside, I had to learn how to make the case for more resources. On the extreme end, when we discovered one of our nurses was a serial killer, I had to learn how to manage a horrific crisis that affected many lives and might also have resulted in significant brand damage.

My point is being an in-house lawyer means having to learn something new almost every day, and very little of my experience as an outside counsel prepared me for that other than in the area that you mentioned, which is I had been a securities lawyer. The public company aspect was one area where there were new and unexpected things but I had a good grounding in the basics and a framework for addressing issues that came up there. There were other areas that were much newer and foreign to me like litigation investigations and a rogue nurse.

Being an in-house lawyer means learning something new almost every day and very little of my experience. Share on X

I’m sure that experience has made you a better lawyer for your outside clients now. I’ve been through a lot. I have not been through a serial killer or others. I hope to never have that experience but I know who to call if I do. That’s wild. We’re getting to the end of our time. I have asked everyone the same last question. I have a new pump-up song myself, and it’s the show’s theme song. My family and I bop around to that. Do you have a pump-up song?

My family and I did a turkey trot in Irving, Texas where we were all gathered for Thanksgiving. To get everyone pumped up, and there were eight of us running in this race, I played Eye of the Tiger. It’s a bit cheesy and tells you how old I am but it’s also very effective, and there’s a reason everybody plays that song to get them in the right mindset. That is still my go-to. I mentioned at the beginning of the conversation that I have 4 daughters, and 2 of them are in middle school. They encouraged me to pick something from this century. I’ll add a shout-out for their pump-up song, which is Fearless by Taylor Swift.


LEGD 8 | General Counsel
General Counsel: We don’t spend enough time learning from each other, and this is a great step in the effort to change that.

 

Middle school girls and Taylor Swift are a softball right there. Joe, thanks so much. This has been a great conversation. I’m even more high on coaching than I was before. I appreciate you being on the show. Thanks so much.

It has been a real pleasure. I’m so thankful you created this show. I’ve already gotten immense value from listening to it. As GCs, we don’t spend enough time learning from each other, and this is a great step in the effort to change that. Thank you for doing it and including me.

You’re welcome. I appreciate it. Thanks so much.

 

Important Links

 

About Joe Schohl

LEGD 8 | General CounselJoseph Schohl is the Chairman and Founder of General Counsel West, PC, and has nearly 30 years of experience in providing healthcare companies with strategic legal advice to help them grow. He has served as general counsel for many private-equity backed healthcare companies as well as providing outside legal services in the areas of health plan and physician contracting, mergers and acquisitions, corporate and healthcare compliance, and dispute resolution.

Joe recently served as the Chief Legal Officer at Radiology Partners, Inc, the largest physician-owned radiology practice in the U.S. operating in all 50 states. In that role, he oversaw the Practice Protectors team, which he created ab initio and now consists of over 30 professionals efficiently providing world class legal, compliance, and risk management services. He continues to serve as a legal advisor to Radiology Partners.

Joe previously served as Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of DaVita Inc., a leading health care provider focused on dialysis services and education for patients with chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease. At DaVita, he was responsible for all legal affairs of the company, overseeing a department of approximately 65 teammates, including 20 attorneys, located across the U.S. Under Joe’s leadership, DaVita’s law department won Inside Counsel magazine’s IC-10 award, recognizing it as one of the ten most innovative legal departments in the country.

Prior to joining DaVita in 2004, Joe was corporate counsel at Baxter Healthcare since 1998, where he rotated through several areas of legal responsibility, including securities law, mergers and acquisitions and business unit general counsel.

In private practice, Joe was a senior associate in the corporate and securities group at Sidley Austin LLP, a global law firm with approximately 2000 lawyers in 20 cities worldwide. Based in Chicago, he advised on numerous complex mergers and acquisitions and capital-raising transactions.

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