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About me

I booked bands while attending law school. I managed a music group signed by Warner Brothers, I have over three hundred celebrity clients in the music business. I was qualified by the Lawyers for the creative arts as expert in all thier five areas, music, film, art, stage, and dance. I have also represented major comedians and tv personalities. I taught entertainment law at Columbia College and Kent Law School. I taught negotiation techniques at Chicago's Music Workshop and on a graduate level at Columbia College for 10 years. I have always tried to support midwest talent whether or not they were my clients and my other clients from outside of the Midwest. When I represented James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, for 15 years I administered his music publishing. I negotiated his film, record and merchdising deals. I negotiated his Pay Per Veiw tv show and got him the largest advance ever paid to a singer to that time. I gave him advise. I got Little Walter's daughter her father's royalities even though she had waited thirty years to ascert a claim. We handled most of the serious contract work for many Blue's and Gospel artists. I was involved in spreading Chicago House music around the world. I continue to speak at various conventions, and lecture to various groups.I guess I am best known for my contract work. I received two "A' in law school for my contract courses and went into that area.


I produced several tv shows including my our cable show, Backstage with Jay B. Ross. I hope to be able to upload several of them to YouTube and this cite shortly. My show concentrated on interveiws with various musical artists and discussed situations wherein they wished they had used an attorney.


We have also represented various record labels, production houses, producers, film companies, dance companies, fashion shows, fine artists, photographers, actors and comedians. 


We have handled rights of publicity matters for many artists wherein we have collected when someone used their image without permission for non-first amendment purposes like tee shirts, post card and posters. We are suing the second largest seller of celebrity photos for not clearing rights of publicity.


 Recently we have pushed to sign up as many recording artists and record companies as we could to collect digital royalties which have nothing to do with downloading, but are paid four times a year relative mostly to records that are given air play on satelite radio and we are actively pushing for the passage of the new law that would pay artists and record companies each time their record is played on any radio station. This would really help musicians. We are also getting royalties from recalcitrant companies who for whatever reason have not paid our clients, their artists, record or publishing royalies. We also go after film companies who failed to pay reuse royalties to the artists for the use of their voice in a motion picture. We also collect royalties for synchonization rights, mechanicals, Licensing, neighboring rights in Canada, and royalties from various entertainment organizations like AFTRA, BMI, ASCAP and others.


We also travel to Europe, Hollywood, New York,  Las Vegas, New Orleans, Atlanta and Nashville to meet with our various contacts in those areas as our business is just as much contacts as it is contracts.   The field of entertainment is a jealous mistriss.


Languages spoken: English, Spanish

Photos and videos

1129219 1310767169

1129219 1308860403

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1129219 1308860057

Contact info

840 West Grand Ave
Chicago, IL, 60642-6565

Practice areas


  1. Entertainment: 80%
    48 years, 10 thousand cases
  2. Contracts: 20%
    48 years, 1 thousand cases



Hourly ($250-400/hour), contingent (20-33%), Retainer (sometimes), Free consultation (15 minutes), Pro bono (10%)

Payment types:

Cash, Check

Attorney endorsements

4 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • No photo

    Jay Ross is an excellent music business lawyer. We separately represent heirs to a pop composer's estate, and he has shown himself to be knowledgeable and practical, always with an eye toward moving a deal forward. Aside from his skills and experience, Jay is a mensch. He's a joy to work with, keeps the big picture in sight, and understands that he works for clients. No diva lawyer he. I recommend him without reservation.


    David Bondy Entertainment Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

  • No photo

    As a young, budding entertainment lawyer in Chicago, I have contacted Mr. Ross for advice on a number of complicated issues. He has graciously answered my questions, always amazing me with his sharp mind and his seemingly second-natured understanding of the industry. I have been told that he is "Dean of Entertainment Law" in the midwest. This I would not dispute, especially after working with him on a few matters and reviewing his list of clients over the past decades.


    Benjamin Smyth Entertainment Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community


NYCurrently registered 198703/07/2016
ILActive And Authorized To Practice Law196805/17/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Lifetime Achievement AwardChicago Music Awards2009
Moot Court First PlaceUniversity of Illinois Law School1966
Citizenship AwardRockford Junior Chamber of Commerce1959
Third Place acting award for whole stateState of Illinois1959
AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated, Highest possibleMartindale-HubbellN/A
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Instructor in negotiation and music and publishing lawMusic Industry Workshop2008 - Present
PresidentJay B. Ross and Associates P.C.1984 - Present
Entertainment Law InstructorKent School of Law1999 - 2000
InstructorColumbia College of Chicago1987 - 2009
InstructorColumbia College of Chicago1979 - 1981
Association namePosition nameDuration
New York State Bar Associationmember1987 - Present
ABAN/A1969 - Present
Decalogue Society of Lawyersmember1969 - Present
Illinois State Bar Asociationmember1968 - Present
Chicago Bar AssociationN/AN/A
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
James Brown v. Corbispending
Shirley Jones, Bonnie Pointer, Anna Maria Alberghetti v. Corbispending
In the matter of Lawrence TerowSuccessful
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Entertainment Law & FinanceCurrent Trends in Entertainment Law1992
Chicago Daily Law BulletinCurrent Trends in Entertainment Law1985
Chicago Daily Law BulletinManagement Contracts1985
Chicago Daily Law BulletinRecording Contracts1985
Chicago Daily Law BulletinMusic Publishing Contracts1985
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Illinois College of LawN/AJD - Juris Doctor1967
University of Wisconsin, MadisonPolitical ScienceBS - Bachelor of Science1964
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
SeminarMusic Industry Workshop2011
Seminarmusic Industy Workshop2010
Columbia College Graduate LevelNegotiation Techniques2010
Ask A Lawyer TV showEntertainment Law2004
The Decalogue Society SeminarsThe Practice of Entertainment Law2003
MIDEM Convention (Cannes, France)American Rights of Publicity2002
New Music SeminarRecord Deals: How to Negotiate Them1998
Cutting Edge ConventionEntertainment Law1997
Guest Lecturer at Law SchoolEntertainment Law1994
National Association of Independant Record Distributors ConferenceRecord Distribution Contracts1992
Ask A Lawyer TV show, I orginally created the seriesEntertainment Law1991
University of Illinois Law School Guest LectureReview of Entertainment Law as to Music and TV1989
National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Chicago ChapterManagement Contracts1989
Cutting Edge ConventionEntertainment Law1985
Chicago Bar Association, Entertainment Law CommitteeNew Trends in Entertainment Law1984
Guest Lecturer at CollegeRockford College1977
Columbia CollegeEntertainment Law1977
Billboard Music ConferenceMusic Publishing1970
women in Film lecturenegotiation techniquesN/A
Grammy Organization Seminars- SeveralEntertainment Business emphasis on MusicN/A