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November 30, 2018

Meet Laura Ball

As an Associate Counsel in the Legal Department and one of WNET’s production attorneys, Laura Ball handles legal matters for Amanpour and Company, PBS NewsHour Weekend, and Children’s and Educational Media. “This involves drafting and negotiating production agreements, pre-broadcast review, and advising on a wide range of issues, including copyright and trademark law and newsgathering practices,” Laura says. Read on to learn about the path that led Laura to WNET, her favorite places in Fort Greene, and more.

What is your background, and how did you land at WNET?

I’ve been practicing law for over a decade, first clerking at one of the United Nations international tribunals in The Hague and then in more traditional roles as an associate at Perkins Coie and as counsel to non-profits, media startups, and filmmakers. Before law school, I worked in film and video production and as an agent for fashion photographers and stylists.

WNET was on my radar because of Loren Kittilsen. We’ve been friends since editing the international law journal together in law school. I remember being thrilled to discover that she had started working at WNET and thinking what an incredible place to practice law. When I saw an opening for a production attorney last year, I jumped at the opportunity.

For our Media with Impact campaign, we’ve been asking viewers to share stories describing how THIRTEEN has influenced their life. How has THIRTEEN (or the PBS station of your childhood) inspired you?

I grew up in Northern Virginia, WETA territory. Of course, I remember watching the iconic children’s programming of the early 80s, and for some reason I remember 3-2-1 Contact most prominently. I also remember, in high school, being surprised to discover Austin City Limits featuring singer-songwriters that interested me at the time. But I think as an adult, THIRTEEN has been most impactful for me, restoring my faith in quality television and meaningful programming.

Which three shows airing on our stations this month are you most likely to watch, stream, or record?

I can say with certainty that I won’t miss an episode of Amanpour and Company and NewsHour Weekend. I’m also fairly confident that a certain three-year-old in my life will have me watching some Daniel Tiger and Odd Squad. I hope to also find the time to catch the Victoria second season premiere.

Where do you live, and what are some of your favorite places in your neighborhood?

I love everything about my neighborhood, Fort Greene in Brooklyn. The Park is fantastic year-round for the Saturday farmers’ market, events, outdoor movies, and meeting up with neighbors. For years, Roman’s has been my go-to neighborhood restaurant, and there are fantastic places that have opened more recently including Miss Ada and Karasu (great cocktails!). Whenever possible, I try to support some of the wonderful local shops, like Greenlight Bookstore, Feliz, and Thirst Wine Merchants. And I feel so lucky to be such a short walk from all that BAM has to offer.

What book are you currently reading?

I tend to read several books at a time, one that I carry with me in my bag and a small stack of mostly non-fiction, in-progress books on my nightstand. My current subway read is a borrowed copy of the novel Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. I’ve been unwinding in the evenings with Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel and Zora Neale Hurston’s astonishing Barracoon. My favorite recent book is, hands down, the memoir Educated by Tara Westover.

Do you have a special interest or hobby outside of work? If so, tell us about it!

In my household, we love to entertain. My husband is a food writer and adventurous home cook and we enjoy hosting friends for dinner and drinks, often inspired by something quirky he’s writing. I also have a three year-old daughter who dictates most of my free time lately. You can find us at Stories Bookshop for their Sunday author readings, Mark Morris parent-toddler classes, or running amok in Fort Greene Park.


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