Biography: Erica McKinley
Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel
Erica McKinley was appointed the university’s chief legal officer and general counsel in June 2018. She oversees all of the university’s legal affairs, enterprise risk management, and directs the Office of General Counsel. McKinley advises the chancellor, vice chancellors, faculty and staff on various legal, regulatory and compliance matters affecting the university. She represents the university in litigation and other judicial and administrative proceedings. McKinley also provides advice and counsel on the legal implications of university policy, existing and proposed legislation, and the policies of the State Institutions of Higher Learning’s board of trustees. She serves as corporate secretary and a member of the board of directors of the University of Mississippi Educational Building Corp.
McKinley is a strategist and trusted adviser with 20 years of global legal experience, including c-suite experience in professional basketball. She is the former chief operating officer for the National Basketball Players Association. Before joining the NBPA, she was associate general counsel for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. McKinley also served as chief of general litigation and an assistant attorney general in the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia. She was later appointed general counsel for the Department of Human Resources for the District of Columbia. Early in her career, she practiced commercial litigation and white collar criminal defense at two Washington D.C.-area law firms, Arnold & Porter and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.
McKinley earned a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1998. She graduated summa cum laude and as salutatorian. After law school, McKinley completed a clerkship with Judge E. Grady Jolly on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. McKinley also holds a bachelor's degree in English from Tougaloo College. She resides in Oxford with her teenaged son, Ethan Sloan McKinley.