Profiles: Melanie McCormick

Melanie McCormick

Melanie McCormick

JD 17

Pursuing her dream: from chef to in-house counsel at video game company


Melanie McCormick had a diverse career long before she enrolled in Golden Gate University’s law school. She worked for her father setting up computer accounting systems. She spent 10 years as a chef in high-end restaurants in Chicago and San Francisco. Then, after her daughter was born, she wanted out of the kitchen. She went back to school and became a paralegal. She helped start a wholesale wine business. Through it all, when she wasn’t working, she enjoyed another passion: playing video games.

As a paralegal, she learned that she loved the law—and was good at it. So she decided to go to law school, and picked GGU partly because she liked the IP program. But there were other reasons too. As an older student with real-world experience, “I liked the diversity – there’s lots of older adults,” she says.  “And they offered me a great scholarship. “

With her lifelong interest in technology – “all my friends are coders and IT people and video game programmers” – pursuing a certificate in IP law was a perfect fit. And now, as president of the intellectual property student association (IPLA), she’s pleased that the IP program at GGU is starting to grow.

The association organizes panels and events concerning current issues in traditional IP like patent, trademark, and copyright law, but has expanded into the newer realms of cyber and privacy law.  IPLA has brought IP law practitioners with many different careers to speak with students, including attorneys from the US Patent and Trademark Office, IP litigators, and corporate in-house counsel. Melanie is now at work putting together a forum in late March on her favorite subject: videogame law. It will feature in-house counsel for gaming companies including Kabam, Telltale Games, and Wargaming.

It may also provide a glimpse of her future. “My dream job,” Melanie says, “is to be in-house counsel at a videogame company. That’s my goal and that’s where I will get to eventually.”