This Q&A features Jonathan Strauss, who was a member of Loeb’s Litigation department from June 2006 to May 2018.
Catch us up! Where have you been since you left Loeb?
I left Loeb & Loeb a little more than three years ago to join the legal team at Paramount Pictures Corp. I currently serve as senior vice president, legal affairs and litigation, where I am primarily responsible for overseeing all of the studio’s litigation matters and pre-litigation disputes, and advising our senior executive team on all manner of thorny legal issues. I also represent the larger ViacomCBS Inc. corporate family and its business units in a broad range of litigation matters and other disputes.
Is there anything you learned at Loeb that you’ve taken with you to your current role or any of the other roles you’ve had?
Where to start? Early in my career, before joining Loeb, I typically was responsible for only a small portion of a massive litigation—in such circumstances, it is very easy to be myopic and fail to appreciate how your work fits into and affects the larger picture.
At Loeb, I was quickly given the opportunity to manage all aspects of my cases. This helped me see the big picture and develop strategies based on a complete understanding of all aspects of a complicated matter, while also maintaining the type of detail-oriented focus that is critical to litigation. Relatedly, my time at Loeb helped instill in me a deep understanding of the importance of client relations and truly understanding your client’s business, as well as the importance of focusing not only on the exigencies of the case at hand but also on how the matter fits into the client’s larger goals and priorities.
And of course, because working at Loeb gave me the opportunity to represent major motion picture studios and other entertainment industry clients, I was able to gain experience with the legal issues and business challenges faced by the industry that I love.
All these skills and lessons are integral in my current role. Whether I am advising studio executives or instructing outside counsel, it is important for me not only to understand all aspects of the current issue or dispute but also our larger corporate priorities, and to always bear in mind the interplay between the two.
Can you share a specific Loeb memory that you are fond of? It can be a person, a place, an occurrence, etc.
I always had a great time at the partner retreats. I particularly enjoyed the new partner introductions—it was always fun and informative to learn about the interesting and diverse practice areas that our talented new partners were working in, and to get a glimpse into their nonprofessional hobbies and interests. And I loved the annual poker tournament (and the informal poker games that took place every night), which afforded a great opportunity to connect on a personal level with partners from different offices and practice groups.
What did you like most about working at Loeb?
I loved the clients that I got to work for at Loeb, which included high-profile entertainment companies in film, television, music, theater and new media/technology. It is certainly nice when the work that you do aligns with your personal interests, and I was truly lucky to have the opportunity to work in so many exciting and dynamic industries.
What does being a part of Loeb Reconnected, Loeb’s alumni community, mean to you?
I spent the vast majority of my professional career at Loeb, so it is nice to know that even after leaving I am still part of the extended family. On a personal level, it is great to see the interesting things that other alumni have gone on to do. Given the number of extraordinarily talented lawyers who have worked at Loeb over the years, Loeb’s alumni community is certainly a top-tier professional network.