Johnetta G. Paye, Esq.

Founding Partner



J.D., The John Marshall Law School
B.A., DePaul University

Bar Admissions

Illinois; United States District Court Northern District of Illinois; United States District Court for District of Colorado, Attorney Title Agent

Entertainment law

Johnetta G. Paye, Esq., the lead attorney of J. Paye & Associates, is a graduate of John Marshall Law School, with experience in journalism, too. Past client work includes films (“A Sunshine Day” at the 2016 Black Harvest Film Festival), film projects (Eugene Bush of E-Tre Productions), and musicians (Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Belo from Do or Die, Tressa Thomas from “The Five Heartbeats” and “Star Search”).

In 2015, J. Paye & Associates hosted an entertainment law panel event and mixer, with the help of panelist Valincia Saulsberry of Chicagolicious. The event was profiled in Rolling Out Magazine.

As a journalist, her writing and research credits include CNN’s Chicago mob trial research, “Man on the Street” interviews for “The Situation Room” and the Minnesota bridge collapse reports. She has also worked on media projects for PBS Independent Lens and Tribune Media Company.

Real estate law

Savvy with real estate projects, Paye teamed up with two Chicago professionals (MaryAnn Marsh, a real estate broker and co-owner of Chicago’s M Lounge, and Michael Maze, Esq., of the Mazek Law Group LLC) to work with both new and established homeowners. In the four-part collaboration video series, they give real estate tips on short sales, foreclosures, loan modification and more.

Currently as outside legal counsel for a nationally recognized real estate investor, Jay Morrison and Tulsa Real Estate Fund, LLC Paye’s duties range from legal advice to attending investor meetings and business initiatives. Paye is also Of Counsel at Zuber Lawler & Del Duca, LLP where she handles transaction matters for the firm’s clients such as negotiations between condo owners and condo association disputes.

Business law

In both the entertainment and real estate industry, having a holistic understanding of the business world is a necessity. Paye uses her business background to further guide aspiring entrepreneurs in creating their own success. At the Wilton School of Baking in Illinois, Paye co-taught the “Building a Successful Cake Business” course.

Paye was also featured in CBS Chicago’s “Let’s Get Back to Work” series, which highlighted Chicago professionals in six different industries. The CBS series focused on helping law school students and continuing education students understand the possibilities of pursuing a legal degree.

Outside of the local business and education industry, J. Paye & Associates has been the team behind the “African Business Quarterly” publication, the liaison for companies networking with an international Chinese manufacturing company, and the law firm that has handled five-figure settlement deals and consumer fraud action lawsuits.


Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA), Former Cinema Chicago Junior Board Member, Former Jewish Vocational Society (JVS) Volunteer, The BOSS Network, and Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network (WEEN).

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