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Jennifer Ross


After working in Los Angeles, entertainment and advertising attorney Jennifer Ross returned to Bloomfield Hills, where she currently lives with her husband and their two kids.


“One of the reasons we moved back was to raise our children here,” said Ross who owns Jennifer Ross Business Affairs (JRBA), also based in Bloomfield Hills.


Before branching out on her own, Ross worked with top advertising agencies, learning the intricacies of business affairs with clients like Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google and Nike. She served as general counsel and director of business affairs at Pitch, an ad agency in California, where she also worked with William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, among others.


Considered a national expert on legal compliance and licensing, Ross works with ad agencies, movie producers and entertainers. She is currently consulting with the estate of Steve Jobs in the development of the Steve Jobs Archive. Ross has also worked on Super Bowl commercials, clearing the rights for popular songs, negotiating with talent agencies and more.


Her creative path was clear from the start. “When I was young, I wanted to be an actor or an attorney,” said Ross, who studied film and musical theatre at Seton Hall University in New Jersey.


After earning her MBA, she went to Southwestern Law School in LA, knowing she could do entertainment law and it would all come together where she might be a manager, agent or producer. “Business affairs is a culmination of all that and there was a program with SAG (Screen Actors Guild) where I was able to intern in their legal department. My first position was with William Morris Endeavor; that was my first jump and it stuck.


“I knew being a lawyer and advocating for others was in me already. It was about figuring out how to use that,” said Ross, whose experience made her realize she wanted more involvement in production. “It was not enough to stimulate my creative side.”


Turning to advertising affairs allowed Ross to work with the creative team on set at times. “I was very much engaged and that really fulfilled what I wanted to do,” she said.


Changing laws come with the territory, especially when it comes to social media platforms. “It’s always challenging and every day is not the same as the day before and every project is unique. That’s the fun part,” said Ross. “The challenging part is that you might not have a rule book, so you have to come with a bespoke approach.


“It’s a stressful industry in general and there are high stakes when things are public and you’re dealing with celebrities and all the nuances that come with that,” she said. “A Super Bowl commercial is a high-stress moment, but what an opportunity. I’m so blessed to do this work every day. I had to really fight for it in my career. Not many people get the opportunity to work in entertainment law.”


Now, Ross helps clients from Michigan, California and New York with their business and their creative process, including working with the Steve Jobs Archive on their licensing endeavors. “It's an absolute honor to work with their team and we are very excited for what is to come.”


Her husband, a content creator, is also from Michigan, but the two met in LA. “We made the leap and it’s been the best thing for us,” said Ross about their return. “We really work to be supportive of creators in Michigan and keep creative opportunities here.”


Story: Jeanine Matlow

Photo: Laurie Tennent

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