Next Generation 2011: Legal
PICTURED From left: Myman Greenspan Fineman Fox Rosenberg & Light's Aaron Rosenberg, Comedy Central's Ben Mauceri and Gang Tyre Ramer & Brown's Bianca Levin
Bianca Levin | 34
Partner, Gang Tyre Ramer & Brown
Levin starred in a few commercials when she was a kid in New York. "But the truth was, I didn't have the acting gene," she admits. So at 14 she decided she'd become an entertainment lawyer instead. After attending Yale for both undergrad and law school, Levin left a cushy corporate law job at Sullivan and Cromwell for Los Angeles' venerable Gang Tyre talent firm, home of such legends as Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood, among others. Now she handles deals for Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, prolific producer Tony Krantz and Twilight star Ashley Greene, whom Levin signed before she landed a role in the blockbuster franchise. After making partner at 29, the unmarried travel buff (she explored St. Tropez this summer) is focused on signing more emerging stars. "People take on entertainment lawyers very early in their careers now, so it's super competitive," she says. "You've got to always be on the lookout for great talent."
Ben Mauceri | 34
VP Business and Legal Affairs, Comedy Central
Before Charlie Sheen could take his licks at the Comedy Central Roast, he had to pass muster with Mauceri, whose duties include talent deals for all the infamous roasts. "Charlie's team was actually wonderful," says the New York native, who lives in the same Chelsea neighborhood where he grew up. "Very few people do the roasts for money. People do it because they really want to do it." After graduating from Syracuse Law, Mauceri moved to Los Angeles without a job and landed as an assistant to the head of business affairs for Universal Television. After stints at William Morris and as a production lawyer on Blind Date, he joined Comedy Central in 2005, moving back to New York five years later. An avid motorcyclist (he just bought a rare 1972 Moto Guzzi), the single Mauceri also handles the network's South Park franchise, which includes fielding odd requests like helping procure guinea pigs that could be dressed up and photographed for an episode. "I did a complicated animal wrangler deal and I told my mom about it," he recalls. "And now she tells her friends I get guinea pigs for South Park for a living."
Aaron Rosenberg | 34
Partner, Myman Greenspan Fineman Fox Rosenberg & Light
There's a reason Rosenberg chose to focus on music once he decided to pursue a career in entertainment law. "I was a shitty piano player and a shittier singer," he cracks. "But I knew I wanted to be among creative professionals and around music." Growing up in Kansas City, Mo., Rosenberg immersed himself in Motown and R&B, and then carried his love for the genre through seven years at Harvard (where he attended undergrad and law school). It would help him land an internship at Arista Records, a clerkship at Greenberg Traurig and then his first major client, John Legend, in 2002. Today, as his firm's youngest partner ever, he represents some of the biggest names in music, including Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber and songwriter Diane Warren. He has also made a concerted effort to recruit top executives as clients, including Lady Gaga manager Troy Carter. Says Rosenberg: "It takes a certain type of person to bring the needs of commerce and art together. It's a talent not a lot of executives have, and the ones that do, they're rock stars, too. Think about it: How do you get in a room and tell Lauryn Hill that her nine-minute song needs to be down to three?" Rosenberg credits his negotiating skills to being the middle of three brothers and the indispensable advice of his mom and mentor: Never take no for an answer. "She got her Ph.D. in chutzpah, which she most certainly passed on to me."