Bruce R. Jacob

Bruce R. Jacob

Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law

B.A., Florida State University
J.D., Stetson University
LL.M., (Criminal Law) Northwestern University
LL.M., (Taxation) University of Florida
S.J.D., Harvard University 
LL.D., Stetson University

Administrative Law, Constitutional Law I, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure.

Professor Jacob began his career in 1960 as an Assistant Attorney General of the State of Florida. There he represented the respondent in Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963) and he represented the state in 19 appeals before the Florida Supreme Court and District Courts of Appeal of Florida. He then joined the firm of Holland, Bevis & Smith, now Holland & Knight, in Bartow and Lakeland, FL. While at that firm he became a part-time volunteer Special Assistant Public Defender in the Tenth Judicial Circuit of Florida. After completing his LL.M. degree at Northwestern University, Professor Jacob joined the faculty of Emory University School of Law. There he established the Legal Assistance for Inmates Program, providing legal assistance to inmates of the United States Penitentiary in Atlanta, GA. He was appointed by the Supreme Court as counsel for petitioner in Kaufman v. United States, 394 U.S. 217 (1969), and handled several appellate cases in federal courts, such as Rosa v. United States, 397 F.2d 401 (5th Cir. 1968), and trial-level cases including White v. Blackwell, 277 F. Supp. 211 (N.D. Ga. 1967) and Lawrence v. Blackwell, 298 F. Supp. 708 (N.D. Ga. 1969), challenging prison rules and practices on constitutional grounds. While at the Harvard Law School, he served as Research Associate in the Center for Criminal Justice, was the co-founder of the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project, and supervised law students in the defense of criminal cases and the representation of indigents in civil matters in the Community Legal Assistance Office, a Harvard legal services office.

Professor Jacob subsequently served as Professor and Director of Clinical Programs, from 1971-78, at the Ohio State University College of Law; as Dean and Professor of the Mercer University School of Law from 1978-81; and as Vice-President of Stetson University and Dean of Stetson University College of Law from 1981-94. When he stepped down from the Stetson deanship, he had been a law school dean for 16 ½ consecutive years. Since beginning his law school teaching career in 1965 he has taught over 20 courses, including clinical courses, supervising students in the representation of indigent clients. He has published law review articles on the subjects of criminal law and procedure, civil rights and liberties, the administrative law of corrections, and the right to counsel, in the Stetson Law Review, Iowa Law Review, Kansas Law Review, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, and others. In 2010 he was a panelist on American Law at the Northwest University of Politics and Law, Xi'an, China; Southwest University of Political Science and Law, Chongqing, China; Dalian Maritime University, Dalian City, Manchuria, China; and Tsinghua University, Beijing. In 2011 he was an instructor in the week-long Program on American Law, sponsored by the Northwest University of Politics and Law, Xi'an, China. In 2009 he assisted in teaching a course on International Organizations in Lucerne and Geneva, Switzerland. He received the Excellence in Teaching Award from Stetson University in 2006, and again in 2018. Also, he received the "Golden Apple Award" from Stetson law students in 1999 for excellence in teaching. He is a charter inductee into the Stetson University College of Law Hall of Fame, 2004. He gave the commencement speech address for the College of Law in May, 2019, and received the honorary LL.D degree from Stetson University. 

In 2006 the members of an American Inn of Court in Tampa honored Professor Jacob by naming their Inn the "Bruce R. Jacob Criminal Appellate American Inn of Court." In 2016 the name became "Bruce R. Jacob - Chris W. Altenbernd Criminal Appellate Inn of Court." He was a member of The Constitution Project's "Blue Ribbon Panel" on indigent defense in the United States. In 2009 the panel issued its report, entitled "Justice Denied" America's Continuing Neglect of Our Constitutional Right to Counsel." In 2013 he was one of four persons presented with "Constitutional Champion" awards by the Constitution Project, in Washington, D.C. He received the 2013 "Champion of Indigent Defense Award" from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Also, in 2013 he received the Delano Stewart Award from the George Edgecomb Bar Association, Tampa, and the "Power 100 Award" from the organization, "On Being a Black Lawyer" of Washington, D.C. These two awards were for efforts in making the legal profession more diverse. In 2014 he received the Wm. Reece Smith, Jr. Public Service Award from Stetson and the Gardner W. Beckett, Jr. Civil Liberties Award from the Pinellas County, FL chapter of the A.C.L.U. He received the 2018 Law Faculty Professionalism Award from The Florida Bar. In 2014 The Illinois Public Defender Association created an award to be given to outstanding Illinois public defenders and named it the "Bruce Robert Jacob Award." At a semiannual meeting of the Association in 2019, in Springfield, Illinois, Jacob received this award.

He was honored by the Stetson faculty when in 2009 Stetson began hiring entry level Visiting Assistant Professors who are known as "Bruce R. Jacob Fellows." They spend two years at Stetson, developing courses, teaching, and writing in preparation for a career as a law professor. In 2013 the graduating class of the Stetson College of Law voted to establish the "Bruce R. Jacob Scholarship Fund" as their "class gift" to the College of Law.

Phone: 727-562-7866 | Email: | Office: DA-210 (Gulfport)