legal consultant resume example with 20+ years of experience

Jessica Claire
Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94105 (555) 432-1000,
Executive Profile

Senior Legal Executive Versatile and effective attorney with a proven track record of achievement as well as a true passion for all aspects of the entertainment/media industry and its associated legal components. Areas of strength include successful negotiations and clients with innovative solutions to challenging situations. Currently looking for an opportunity to transition prior experience and success within the entertainment industry to a challenging in-house counsel position.

Areas of Expertise
  • Settlement Negotiations
  • Client Relationship Management
  • Employment Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Digital Media
  • Copyright & Trademark Licensing
  • Contract Negotiation
  • Skilled Professional Mediator
  • Commercial Real Estate
Selected Career Accomplishments
  • Trademarks & Copyrights - Provide advice to clients regarding trademark applications, including for brand names, application of trademarks and viability of proposed trademarks; perform preliminary trademark searches and review professional searches.  Collaborated with outside counsel to protect key Harpo trademarks. Advised Publicity on press releases, press inquiries, media plans and troubleshooting.
  • Television Production -  Provide comprehensive advice to clients on television projects, including for financing, production and distribution; draft all related documents and agreements; work with clients on feature television shows. Advised and counsel award-winning producers, and  start-up productions regarding entertainment law matters and business issues.  Advised Affiliate Relations executives in solving broadcast/station concerns and issues with programming.    Areas of expertise include publishing, production, and personal management agreements.
  • Reality Television - Counsel clients with production and rendering of talent services in connection with reality television programming.  Drafted and effectively negotiated comprehensive talent and production agreements; cultivate key relationships with network executives as part of effort to land client appearances on reality television shows research, case correspondence, depositions as well as drafting and negotiating settlement agreements.
  • Intellectual Property & Real Estate - Using  expansive legal knowledge to advise clients litigating cases. Drafted pleadings, motion practice, research, case correspondence, depositions as well as drafting and negotiating settlement agreements. 
Professional Experience
2011 to Current Legal Consultant Sirius Xm | Remote - Southern California, CA,
  • Provide counsel to independent producers and production companies entertainment matters. 
  • Provide advice and counsel to advising production companies and talent regarding all phases of development of scripted and non-scripted television programming
  • Negotiate co-production, licensing, distribution, underwriting, consulting, venue and ancillary agreements related to television programming.  
2009 to 2011 Vice President/Associate General Counsel Harpo Productions, Inc | City, STATE,
  • Provided counsel to creative and corporate executives on development of new television programming, intellectual property matters and other business and television related transactions.
  • With legal expertise, provided counsel on business affairs matters related to syndicated and cable television programming  
  • Counseled and trained show attorneys on processes and the handling of major issues related to syndicated programming. 
  • Served as the legal and business affairs liaison between Hearst Communications and “O: The Oprah Magazine”  and well as the production and distribution companies and Nate Berkus and Dr. Oz Show syndicated series.
  • Advised the Publicity executive and  team on brand management and other issues impacting the company and its programming.
  • Advised Harpo’s Marketing team on sponsorship, trade-outs and program integration for “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” non-scripted series, specials and other syndicated series Collaborated with business affairs executives at OWN:  Oprah Winfrey Network on several exclusive rights and talent deals. 
  • Collaborated with and guided the Harpo Sounds Group to devise a strategic plan to monetize the Harpo Sounds Music Library
2005 to 2009 Associate General Counsel Harpo Productions, Inc. | City, STATE,
  • Advised Harpo’s development executives on television specials and new series programming. 
  • Successfully negotiated and drafted talent deals for “Oprah Winfrey Show” contributors and other productions Negotiated production services, talent and distribution agreements for a reality series and other specials Conducted pre-broadcast review of all new programming. (series and specials)
  • Structured the legal framework for commissioning original music Negotiated distribution deals for the music library, which created a profit center for the company.  As Advisor to "show attorneys, provided guidance for all syndicated programming and advised the company’s publicity/corporate communications team on responses to press inquiries and press releases related to the company’s brands and programming.
  • Advised the Oprah Radio (Sirius  XM) team on radio matters and negotiated radio talent deals.  Trained a junior attorney and clearance coordinator to handle radio matters.
1992 to 2004 Director, Business and Legal Affairs Harpo Productions, Inc. | City, STATE,
  • Instrumental in structuring the Legal & Business Affairs Department and devising effective systems of communicating between the creative teams and Legal & Business Affairs to ensure broadcast standards were met for programs.
  • Created and enhanced releases, licenses and other entertainment agreements for use in connection with diverse programs   Identified and trained a group of clearance coordinators to efficiently and effectively obtain third party materials within show budgets. 
  • Supervised and trained junior attorneys to handle pre-broadcast review of “Oprah Winfrey Show” episodes (with a focus on privacy, first amendment, libel/defamation, intellectual property and FCC issues) and ancillary agreements related to the Series.
  • Supervised and trained clearance coordinators to clear music; provided the legal/business framework for the company to own original music Advised the legal team for  “The Dr. Phil Show” on implementing proven clearance and pre-broadcast review policies and procedures.
  • Successfully minimized claims and avoided lawsuits Handled personal appearance contracts (television and speeches) for Oprah Winfrey.
  • Secured intellectual property rights via work-for-hire agreements with photographers to build a Harpo photo library.
  • Collaborated with Hearst Communications and implemented a system for acquiring photography rights Advised the team on the establishment of privacy policies and terms and conditions for use of the website. 
Expected in Juris Doctor | University of Michigan School of Law, Ann Arbor, MI GPA:
Expected in Bachelor of Arts | Political Science Yale University, New Haven, CT GPA:
Professional Affiliations
Member: Illinois State Bar, New York State Bar, American Bar Association, Forum on Sports & Entertainment, Intellectual Property Section Black Entertainment & Sports Lawyers Association
Programming and Context Experience
  • Syndicated Television Programs (unscripted/talk) “The Oprah Winfrey Show” “The Dr. Phil Show” “The Dr. Oz Show” “The Nate Berkus Show”
  • Competition Series (unscripted/reality) “Oprah’s Big Give” – an 8 part primetime series featuring unknown participants who traveled to 8 different cities competing to see who could give away the most money and in-kind services to various communities. "America, Are You Normal?" – game show featuring contestants answering a series of questions about what a surveyed audience considered normal which aired on the OWN Network.
  • Documentaries/Docu-series  "Behind the Scenes of the 25th Season of The Oprah Winfrey Show" - a 25 episode series that chronicled staffers as they put together the last season of production of "The Oprah Winfrey Show"  "Oprah Winfrey's Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa" a one hour documentary which chronicled the building of the Academy and the selection of the first class of students  "The First Graduating Class of Oprah's Leadership Academy" which focused on the first graduating class of the Leadership Academy (pre-production) "Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball" – a documentary which focused on honoring 25 famous Black women from the arts, education, sports and politics Business Affairs liaison to the producers of two PBS docu-series in which Oprah participated:   "African American Lives" and "Finding Oprah's Roots" which traced the ancestry of Oprah Winfrey and several other prominent African Americans
  • Other Unscripted Series (non-talk show format)  "Oprah's Master Class" – an 8 part series focused on famous individuals reflecting on their careers and life philosophies  "In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman" – an 8 part reality series focused on a sex therapist helping couples overcome intimacy issues (aired on the OWN Network).
  • Cable Network Series:  “Kathy” – a 12 part talk/variety series on BRAVO     

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Resume Overview

School Attended

  • University of Michigan School of Law
  • Yale University

Job Titles Held:

  • Legal Consultant
  • Vice President/Associate General Counsel
  • Associate General Counsel
  • Director, Business and Legal Affairs


  • Juris Doctor
  • Bachelor of Arts

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