FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Rhonda Joy McLean

Time Inc.
Deputy General Counsel
New York, NY, USA


Rhonda Joy McLean is Deputy General Counsel of Time Inc. (a Time Warner company) in New York, New York. She was promoted from the position of Associate General Counsel to her current post in January, 2009. She manages one third of the law department and conducts regulatory compliance efforts for consumer marketing materials for the 21 magazines that Time Inc. publishes in the United States and Canada, including Time, People, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, Real Simple, InStyle and Essence. She provides advice and counsel to more than 300 clients, focusing on digital marketing matrixes and also participates in the shaping of national and international advertising and data privacy protocols for Time Inc.

Prior to joining Time in October 1999, Ms. McLean was the Assistant Regional Director of the Northeast Region of the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") for nine years. At the FTC, she prosecuted individuals and corporations throughout the United States that engaged in deceptive business practices or conduct that violated federal antitrust laws. While at the FTC she received national awards for her work in educating traditionally underserved consumer communities about their rights under federal, state, and local consumer protection laws.

Ms. McLean received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1983. From November, 2004 to November, 2006, she served as chair of the Yale Law School Alumni Association. In April, 2010 she received the Hon. Jane Matilda Bolin award from the Yale Black Law Students Association for her mentoring hundreds of young lawyers and law students as well as her community service work.  Judge Bolin was the first African-American woman to graduate from Yale Law School (1931) and the first Black woman appointed as a judge in the State of New York. In March, 2010 Attorney McLean's first book was published by Random House/One World Press, entitled "The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women."  The book, written with her friends Elaine Meryl Brown and Marsha Haygood, is now in its fourth printing. It has been consistently ranked in the top 3 on Amazon.com's best seller list for leadership and management.  Ms. McLean and her co-authors have participated in more than 60 book events in 14 states thus far, and their book tour continues.

In June, 2010, Ms. McLean received the "Highest Leaf" award from the Women's Venture Fund for her work with young business women, potential lawyers and law students over the past twenty years. She was named by The Network Journal in March, 2007 as one of the "25 Influential Black Women in Business" and featured in the March issue of The Network Journal Black Professionals and Small Business Magazine. She also received the Ruth Whitehead Whaley Public Service Award at the 30th Anniversary Gala of the Association of Black Women Attorneys ("ABWA") in March, 2007. Ruth Whitehead Whaley was the first African-American woman admitted to the practice of law in New York (1925) and North Carolina (1933). Ms. McLean has received numerous other awards, including the "Global Vision Award from the Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy in Brooklyn, New York, which provides artistic vision and community services to more than 1,000 families in Flatbush. Since June of 2004 she has been a member of the Greater New York Chapter of the LINKS, Inc., a 65-year-old international community service organization comprised of African-American professional women. She is Corresponding Secretary of this organization and served as co-chair for its 2011 Luncheon and Gala.

Attorney McLean also served as co-chair of the board of directors of the New York Women's Foundation, which makes grants of nearly $4 million each year to community-based organizations that enhance the lives of low-income women and girls in New York City. Ms. McLean is currently Vice President of the board of the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan New York ("BBB"), which resolves over 50,000 consumer complaints each year. 

Ms. McLean is a founding co-chair of the Time Warner Women's Network ("TWWN"), which launched in November, 2004 and now has over 1,000 members. She was featured in the February, 2008, March, 2010 and June, 2011 issues of ESSENCE magazine.

A noted public speaker, Ms. McLean will be speaking next at the Seventh Annual General Counsel Institute for the National Association of Women Lawyers conference in New York, New York in November, 2011. Topics of interest to her include FTC and other regulatory agency guidelines, electronic marketing and social media issues, the evolving structures and infrastructures of legal service organizations and leadership for the next millennia, particularly the progress of women in leadership roles.

In addition to her law degree, Ms. McLean received a Master of Science degree in Adult Education and Leadership Development from North Carolina A& T State University. She received her B.A. in Criminology and Social Work from Aurora University in Aurora, Illinois.   

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