Q: What is your full title?
A: Associate General Counsel
Q: Which company do you work for?
A: Constellation Brands, Inc.
Q: What is a typical day for you?
A: Every day is different! I support primarily the brand and marketing departments and spend my days in meetings with brand/marketing teams working on strategic initiatives, legal issues with creative development and issue spotting for new and unique marketing activations, consumer promotions and engagements. I also spend a lot of time on transactional work – negotiating agency master services agreements, talent agreements, music and other IP licenses, sponsorship agreements, and promotional partnerships.
Q: What has been your favorite experience at Constellation Brands?
A: I can’t pick just one! I am incredibly fortunate to work for such an amazing company and working with colleagues who value the role of the legal department and treat us as an extension of their teams is the best part of the job!
Q: What made you want to work as an in-house attorney?
A: Before law school, I worked in the advertising and entertainment industries, and I knew I wanted to be a “brand attorney” even before beginning my legal education.
Q: Before you started working at Constellation Brands, what area of law did you primarily practice in?
A: My practice area has always focused on intellectual property and advertising law issues – and it still does in my role in-house.
Q: What advice would you give to YLS members who want to work in-house?
A: Many companies do not hire young associates in-house, as in-house legal departments typically do not have the resources to train young attorneys. If you wish to make the transition in-house early on, do your homework and network with attorneys who work in the industries/companies you find interesting. Word of mouth is often the best way to learn of an opportunity in-house.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would have given yourself when you were just getting started in practice?
A: There is one piece of advice I received early on in my legal career that I would tell myself again (and that I share with young attorneys I meet from time to time). The advice is to treat everything you create as a final product (even if working on an informal email or first draft). Quality work product is so important, specifically if you are an attorney in private practice. The reminder to only put forth your best work – at any stage – has served me well.
Jessica Bahr is Associate General Counsel at Constellation Brands, a Fortune 500® company and leading international producer and marketer of beer, wine, and spirits. In her role, Jessica primarily supports the brand and marketing teams and advises on advertising law issues, including advertising clearance, best practices in social media and digital advertising, sweepstakes, contests, and other consumer promotions, as well as beverage alcohol regulatory and trade practice matters. Jessica is also responsible for negotiating brand sponsorships, agency services agreements, music licenses, and talent agreements and managing the Beer Division trademark portfolio and other intellectual property matters.