Joe is a native of Nashville, attending Peabody College and graduating from Vanderbilt School of Law. During his many years as a practicing attorney, Joe, alongside his now deceased father, attorney Joseph L. Lackey Sr,. were founding Members of several prominent Nashville Law Firms including Lackey, Farrell, Harwood and Alexander; Butler, Lackey, Holt and Snedeker; and Lackey, Rodger, Price and Snedeker; but in 2002 Joe decided to reignite his father's legacy and re-start the Lackey Law Firm. Since Joe's inception of the renewed Lackey Law Firm in 2002, three of Joe's children, Brenner, Joe and Julianne have joined the Firm as practicing attorneys and it has evolved into Lackey | McDonald PLLC.
Throughout his legal career, Joe has held true to his father’s legacy by being an integral attorney in the Nashville legal community and by, most importantly, continuing to advocate for the rights of deserving clients. Joe was a charter member of the Nashville Legal Aid Society. He was also a charter member of the Federal Bar Association's Nashville Division and its first President. He has served as President of the Barristers Club of Nashville and as the Secretary, First Vice President, and Board Member of the Nashville Bar Association. And to mention a few other professional associations: Joe was an active member of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association and he remains an active member of the Nashville Bar Association and the Tennessee Bar Association.
Being an integral part of Nashville's legal community and a true advocate Joe not surprisingly received numerous political appointments after his legal career began. In 1962, Joe was appointed by then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy to serve as the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee which he did until 1965. Later, he became General Counsel for the Metropolitan Development and Housing Authority and was appointed by the Federal Judges to serve as a Member of the Federal Land Commission for the Middle District of the State of Tennessee. And, he was appointed Special Assistant Attorney General for land acquisitions for the State of Tennessee. All of these career appointments embedded him further in the legal profession and his home State. Joe is admitted to practice in the State Courts of Tennessee, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District Court of Tennessee, the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
In addition to his service to his many legal clients, the legal profession, and to his home State, Joe has consistently chosen to be politically active and dedicated to our military. He has volunteered his time historically in multiple political campaigns, serving as the Statewide Youth Director for the Estes Keafaufer for U.S. Senate campaign, the Co-Statewide Chairman for Lawyer's for Jimmy Carter's successful race for President, the statewide campaign Chair for Z.D. Atkins' two-term TN Public Service Commissioner, the Co-Chairman of both successful Beverly Briley campaigns for Mayor of Nashville as well as the successful campaigns of Albert Gore, Sr., Albert Gore, Jr., and President John F. Kennedy. Joe himself was elected in a statewide contested race to serve on the prestigious Tennessee Board of Governors. His dedication to the military led to an appointment as Captain Judge Advocate, State Headquarters, for the Tennessee Army National Guard, and following his Captain Judge Advocate appointment, Joe was then qualified and attended the U.S. Army Law School at the University of Virginia for five summers sessions where he studied the U.S. Code of Military Justice.
Graduated from Vanderbilt School of Law and was Admitted to TN Bar 1960.