Gretchen McCord is an attorney and educator specializing in copyright law, privacy law, and legal issues related to social media. In addition to providing legal services, she offers a variety of training services in these areas, both face-to-face and online. Her practice focuses on assisting educational institutions, libraries, small businesses, and non-profit entities in transitioning into the ever-changing digital world. She writes, speaks, and teaches extensively on the role and application of copyright in higher education and libraries and has achieved a national reputation within those communities as a copyright expert.
Gretchen began down this road in the 1990’s, as an academic librarian at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Houston. Working in libraries during the early years of the modern Internet, Gretchen became increasingly interested in the developing legal issues surrounding the Internet and digital information. She decided to pursue this interest by studying law and entered the University of Texas School of Law in 1998.
After earning her J.D., Gretchen spent six years at the international law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski, L.L.P. followed by 2 ½ years at the prestigious intellectual property boutique of WongCabello. In 2010, she decided to follow her dreams and left firm life behind to open her own practice.
Gretchen received her B.A. from Rice University and M.S.I.S. from the University of North Texas. She received her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 2001 and is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas. While in law school, Gretchen served as Chief Articles Editor of the Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Journal of Women and the Law. During law school, she also interned for the Texas Supreme Court and the Senate Jurisprudence Committee of the Texas Legislature and worked for the Texas Library Association as a legislative assistant.
Gretchen currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Freedom to Read Foundation’s Board of Trustees, Secretary of the Amigos Library Services Board of Directors, and member of the American Library Association Legislative Subcommittee on Copyright. Her previous activities include serving on the City of Austin Library Commission, as President of the Friends of Libraries & Archives of Texas, and as President of the Texas Library Association in 2005-2006. She remains an active member of both TLA and ALA. She is an alumna of the Snowbird Leadership Institute and the TALL Texans Leadership Institute. She is also involved in issues of sustainability and responsible growth and currently chairs the central Texas based Groups United to Advocate Responsible Development.
For twenty years, Gretchen has written and spoken extensively on copyright and privacy law, as well as other related issues. She is the author of, among other publications, the books Fair Use: The Secrets No One Tells You (available through SmashWords), What You Need to Know about Privacy Law: A Guide for Librarians and Educators (available on Amazon) and Copyright in Cyberspace 1 and 2: Questions and Answers for Librarians. Gretchen periodically adjuncts Masters-level courses about legal issues for information professionals at various institutions, including the University of Texas School of Information.
Gretchen has lived in the Austin, Texas, area since 1998 and cannot imagine living elsewhere. She enjoys working on her rural property in Bastrop County, “kicker” dancing with her Tucson-raised husband, entertaining friends, and feeding treats to her thirty chickens.