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about Rhonda

Winner of the ABWA Lifetime Achievement Award

as presented at the December 4, 2020
Protect Your Legacy meeting

click here to see the presentation

passcode: 2020RWWCelebration!



with Kiesha Gee

November 2020

Kiesha Garrison interviews CEO & Author Rhonda Joy McLean - Sometimes You Just Have to Stand

listen here



She's Got Drive
with Shirley McAlpine

Inspiring Interviews with Black Women about Success and how they achieved it- Motivation, Leadership and Confidence 

listen here


Published Articles

Superpowers Every In-House Counsel Needs: What's in Your Quiver?

as seen in NYSBA Inside

Spring 2020
Vol. 38, No. 1

click here to read articles


Rhonda Joy McLean is President and CEO of RJMLEADS LLC, a leadership consulting and career advancement company based in New York City. She is the former Deputy General Counsel of Time Inc., a global media company, where she managed one-third of the law department and provided legal counsel to over 200 clients for nearly 20 years, including Time, Fortune, Sports Illustrated, People, Essence and other global brands. Her client roster includes international law firms, other for-profit and nonprofit organizations and academic institutions, as well as senior executives at private and public companies worldwide.


A noted public speaker and executive empowerment coach, she is also the co-author of the popular book series "Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women," co-authored with her longtime business partners Elaine Meryl Brown and Marsha Haygood. In addition, Attorney McLean is a contributing author to "Sacred Sistering: A Devotional for Women of Color Leaders in Ministry," published in February, 2022. Her books have taken her across the country to conduct leadership workshops, retreats and seminars, and her book tour continues. In 2022 and 2023, "The Little Black Book of Success" was named as an essential resource for Black executives in the United States and Canada. Currently, Ms. McLean is working with her "Little Black Book of Success" co-authors on a sequel to explore the expanding and evolving landscape of leadership in the post-pandemic era. Ms. McLean was featured in "Late Boomers, Too!" by Jeri Bernstein, published in February, 2023.


Over her nearly fifty-year career, Ms. McLean has received numerous awards for her dedication to excellence in and greater access to the legal profession and higher education generally, as well as her commitment to public service and philanthropy, particularly with regard to women’s rights and protecting victims of domestic and family violence. She has been honored by the New York Women’s Foundation, the Association of Black Women Attorneys, the National Organization of Women and Yale Law School, her alma mater, among others. In June, 2023, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Rogue Media Group.


A graduate of Yale Law School, Attorney McLean is a past chair and emeritus member of the Yale Law School Executive Committee, representing more than 16,000 alumni, as well as a current director of the Yale Law School Fund, which supports the fundraising arm of the school. She is the Vice-Chair of the Union Theological Seminary ("UTS") Board of Trustees, and is currently serving as Chair of the Development Committee. Established in 1836, UTS is at the forefront of defining the study and practice of inter-religious engagement. It has served as the incubator for many global social justice leaders, including Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Ms. McLean is a past president of the Greater New York Chapter, The Links, Incorporated, an international organization of African-American business and professional women with over 17,000 members that provides over 1 million hours of community service annually to underserved communities across the globe, and grants academic scholarships to students from all age ranges. She currently serves as the Chair of the Organizational Effectiveness Committee and a Co-Chair of the Health and Human Services Facet for her Links Chapter.


In the fall of 2021, Attorney McLean was invited to join the inaugural Alumni Advisory Council for the Yale Law School Tsai Leadership Program, the first leadership institute designed specifically for law students. She is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Transformative Leadership Program at the Pace University Lubin School of Business.


In October, 2022, Attorney McLean participated in Yale Law School's inaugural Transformative Leadership Week, along with Hillary Clinton and other prominent Yale alumni/alumnae. McLean conducted an interactive workshop for law school student leaders on strategies for collaborating across differences to build community.


Ms. McLean is a classically trained pianist and mezzo soprano, and enjoys international travel, murder mysteries, museums, botanical gardens, the arts and cooking. 

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