Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law Bruce Jacob honored by Florida Supreme Court

(L-R): Jacob and Florida Supreme Court Justice Labarga. Photo by Joann Grages Burnett.

(L-R): Jacob and Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga. Photo by Joann Grages Burnett J.D. ’08.

Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law Bruce Jacob was honored by the Florida Bar on June 14 with the Florida Bar’s Standing Committee on Professionalism 2018 Law Faculty Professionalism Award. The award, which recognizes a Florida law school faculty member who exemplifies the bar’s mission through teaching, scholarship, and service to the profession, was presented to Jacob during the Judicial Luncheon at the Florida Bar’s annual convention in Orlando on Thursday afternoon.

Jacob retired in May after 13 years as dean, from 1981-1994, and 20 years as a faculty member at Stetson Law. He graduated in 1959 with his law degree from Stetson, and went on to become assistant attorney general of Florida and argue his first case before the U.S. Supreme Court, the historic Gideon v. Wainwright, at age 27. Shortly after the ruling in Gideon, Jacob signed up to become a public defender in Florida’s 10th Judicial Circuit. For more than 50 years, Jacob has represented hundreds of defendants in pro bono criminal  and post-conviction cases.

Jacob started a legal assistance program for inmates in Atlanta in 1965 as a member of the faculty at Emory University, and launched a legal assistance program for inmates in Massachusetts while working on his S.J.D. at Harvard. Jacob served as law professor and director of clinical education at Ohio State University, then as dean of the law school at Mercer University, and became dean of Stetson Law in 1981. At Stetson, Jacob promoted Stetson’s participation in moot court competitions and taught more than 20 different law school courses, including constitutional law, administrative law, criminal law and criminal procedure.

He has been featured in the Washington Post, Esquire, the Atlantic, CBS News, NBC News, the National Law Journal and the ABA Journal.