Roc Nation’s Jennifer Justice Is A Legal Bad Ass
So excited to feature entertainment attorney JJ Justice in our new issue. She has been lucky enough to work with Jay Z and is such a great role model to young women aspiring to to be in careers like hers. Check out her interview below!
Seeing as you’re a boss, what do you think of the word bossy- own it or not?
If bossy meant assertive, confident, ambitious and gets shit done, which it should, I would own it. But unfortunately, it’s typically used in a negative way about women with those exact positive qualities. Not.
How did you start working with Jay-Z and Roc Nation?
I was just out of law school, looking for a job in entertainment law. I got an interview with a boutique entertainment law firm. They went down their list of clients at the time – marilyn manson, sugar ray, dave matthew band, etc etc. and then they said.
“We have this young hip hop artist named Jay Z, you would be working on his new album called Hard Knock Life”. I said, “I love “Reasonable Doubt” (his first album), it’s my favorite album”. I got the job. I think I had some other qualities they liked too, like I was a good attorney. Then he retired, un-retired, and in late 2008, he started Roc Nation. Shortly thereafter, he asked me to join as the General Counsel. That was 5 years ago. Now I am the EVP of Strategic Marketing & Business Development.
What made you want to get into law?
No one in my family went to college – in fact, many of my extended family members didn’t even graduate from high school, including my mother. So all of my references to careers were really from TV. Doctor, lawyer, nurse, I chose law. Then I realized I could be a lawyer in entertainment, specifically music, and that is what solidified my desire to go to law school. So I went to Cornell Law School, solely to be an entertainment attorney.
5 tips you learned from working for Jay Z:
-If they say it can’t be done (or that you can’t do it), then definitely do it
-There is always more to learn and to accomplish
-Always treat people with respect
-Have passion for what you do
6 women you think are bad ass:
Everyone one of my friends are total bad asses – they know who they are. But if you are talking more recognizable names:
-Rihanna is amazing – she is so who she is, never apologizes and is the consummate bad ass.
-Beyonce – the most hard working and talented woman ever. Total boss.
-Hilary Clinton – no need to explain
-Charlize Theron – she became a single mom like me and it was her choice. Never afraid to play any role she wants. She’s a total boss.
-Haim – three kick ass ladies playing by their own rules in a rock band. Not a girl rock band, a rock band.
-Skyler Diggins – amazing athlete, beautiful woman and a total inspiration to young women who want to play sports.
Do you think it’s tougher getting to where you are than your male equivalents?
I know it is. But hopefully won’t be for my daughter.
Do you bring your boss-ness and dominate personally into other parts of your life, like the bedroom?
I don’t separate my personal from my professional life – I am who I am.
Do you think you intimidate people around you?
I have been told, too many times, that I do. But that is not within my control – I can’t make people feel any particular way – only they can so I just try to be true to myself. My true friends never tell me that – they have no problem calling me on my shit.
What’s something you’re really proud of so far?
Everything I have. My kids, Jack & Nico, first and foremost, inspire me to be a better person, leader, mother, friend, co-worker. My amazing support group of friends. And the career I have built with my Roc Nation family over these past 15 years. And, of course, finally making it into this magazine.