Paula L. Barnes

Paula L. Barnes

Bates Group affiliate expert Paula L. Barnes is currently Senior Counsel with Macy’s, Inc., and serves as a marketing law and retail regulatory law generalist strategically advising Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Bluemercury clients on a variety of matters. Her practice areas at Macy’s include reviewing, drafting, and negotiating vendor contracts, designer collaboration and other apparel distribution/co-branding agreements, sponsorship, data analytics, technology platform agreements, and talent releases. Ms. Barnes also advises on advertising, social media, and digital marketing; corporate social responsibility strategy, including corporate diversity and inclusion efforts and multi-cultural community engagement, cause marketing, and corporate giving objectives, sustainability initiatives and green marketing and other brand protection matters. She is a member of the Macy’s Diversity and Inclusion Business Council and a 2019 participant in the company’s Strategic Leaders Institute. 

At MetLife, Ms. Barnes received the Corporate Associate Organization Recognition Award for work on the Privacy Office project and selected as Co-Chair of the BAR sub-committee of Company’s Legal Affairs Diversity Committee, where she managed the sub-committee’s budget and was a liaison to local bar associations.  She has been active in a number of local and national bar associations and public service and social justice organizations and is a member of the United Nations Association, New York chapter, formerly served as a Board Member of the Association of Black Women Attorneys, and is an Adjunct Professor for Fashion Retail Law at Fordham University School of Law.  She was the 2015 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellow. 

Before joining Macy’s and MetLife, Ms. Barnes was an Assistant District Attorney with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office under Robert Morgenthau, where she successfully prosecuted numerous general misdemeanor and felony crimes, before being selected to join the Child Abuse Bureau to prosecute felony child abuse crimes and served as a Supervisor for the unit’s Summer Interns. 


Paula L. Barnes

A Consultant and subject matter expert in these services:



Macy’s, Inc., Senior Counsel, New York, NY, 2017 – 2020

Macy’s, Inc., Counsel, New York, NY, 2011 – 2017

MetLife, Inc., Counsel, Legal Affairs, New York, NY, 2006 – 2011

District Attorney’s Office of New York County, Assistant District Attorney, New York, NY, 1999 – 2006


Juris Doctor, J.D., Howard University School of Law, Washington, D.C., cum laude, 1999

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), English, University of Louisville, Louisville, English, cum laude, 1996


Association of Corporate Counsel, Retail Law Group, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Alumni Member