NAAG Roles

Faculty, Center for Legal Advocacy and Faculty Development

Joe Whalen has been an associate solicitor general in the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office since 2004. In that role, he assists in the oversight and supervision of the Office’s appellate work. He has appeared in all of Tennessee’s appellate courts. Mr. Whalen has argued many times before the Tennessee Supreme Court and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, including three en banc arguments in the Sixth Circuit, and in 2015 he argued before the United States Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges. Before his appointment as an associate solicitor general, Mr. Whalen was an assistant attorney general in the Criminal Justice Division of the Attorney General’s Office’s, where he handled state criminal appeals and litigated habeas-corpus cases in the federal district courts of Tennessee and in the Sixth Circuit.

Originally from Massachusetts, Mr. Whalen formerly served as an assistant attorney general in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, where he litigated civil-rights cases, prosecuted criminal cases, and developed and presented law-enforcement training programs on domestic violence. He began his legal career as an assistant district attorney in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, where he handled felony prosecutions, including sexual-assault and child-abuse cases.
Mr. Whalen is a graduate of Boston University and Boston University School of Law.