The idea of going to law school first planted itself in Racquel McGee (J.D. ’20) while she was earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Kennesaw State University. Getting inside the minds of serial killers piqued the Chicago native’s curiosity and she went on to get a master’s degree in forensic psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. However, it was her work as a social services coordinator in the Public Defender’s Office that made her apply to Georgia State Law. She recognized that there were laws in place that disproportionately impacted marginalized communities and that being an attorney would allow her to advocate for the most vulnerable.
McGee enrolled in the fall of 2016 and has been achieving ever since. She works as a graduate research assistant in both the Entertainment Sports & Media Law Initiative and the Trial Litigation & Advocacy Program; is a member of the Black Law Students Association; and serves as president of the Sports & Entertainment Law Society. At Georgia State, she found a new passion in entertainment law while keeping civil rights close to her heart. As she prepares for graduation—and to work at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith– McGee reflects on her time here.
What’s one of the most memorable experiences you’ve had as a law student?
When now Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (J.D. ’94) was running for office, I was invited to a meeting at Mawuli Davis’ (J.D. ’92) home to discuss mayoral support and the progressive needs of the Atlanta community. She was there to listen and we got to ask questions of what she would do if she was elected. It was a great experience, because it showed me I could be an attorney working wherever and still advocate for my community.
You initially came to law school thinking you would work in family or civil rights law. What made you transition to entertainment law?
Professor Ivory inspired me. I took her Arts & Entertainment Law class, and one of the guest speakers was Leron Rogers, president of the Black Entertainment & Sports Lawyers Association and partner at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith. I volunteered at the BESLA Conference in Cabo that year and met so many people who looked like me working for the NBA, Netflix, NBC, Disney—it was inspiring. It showed me I could do this. In 2019, I volunteered at the conference in Panama City, Panama and received the Civic Excellence Award, which included a $5,000 scholarship.
What area of law most interests you?
I want to practice trademark litigation. There aren’t a lot of women who look like me practicing in this area of the law. The subject matter of trademark, especially when it concerns protecting one’s brand, is so appealing to me. I would love to provide pro bono services to marginalized communities through protection of the use and exploitation of their intellectual property.
What experience have you had at GSU Law so far that you don’t think you would have gotten anywhere else?
I can name almost every faculty and staff member. We have professors like Corneill Stephens, Mo Ivory, Tanya Washington, Darcy Meals, and Andrea Curcio who are not only amazing teachers, but also amazing supporters of student organizations and student success. I have personal relationships with these professors and they have helped me evolved as a law student and as a woman.
An experience that comes in a close second is participating in the inaugural Legal Life of Ludacris class. Who wouldn’t want to take a class like this? That was incredible!
Interview by Kelundra Smith