Bruce Jacob

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Bruce Jacob
Bruce Jacob headshot.jpg
Assistant Attorney General of Florida
Personal details
Born March 26, 1935
Chicago, Illinois
Political party Democratic
Profession Lawyer

Bruce R. Jacob (b. March 26, 1935 in Chicago, Illinois) was Assistant Attorney General for the State of Florida during the early 1960s, whose biggest case was Gideon v. Wainwright, arguing that Clarence Gideon, an indigent, poorly educated man charged with a felony, had no right to be provided with counsel by the State of Florida. Twenty-two states filed briefs in opposition to Jacob's position.[1]

He has a B.A. degree from the Florida State University and a J.D. degree from the Stetson University College of Law.

After leaving the Attorney General's office, Jacob worked as a private lawyer for the firm of Holland, Bevis & Smith, now Holland & Knight, in Bartow and Lakeland, Florida. He, at that time, completed his LL.M. degree at Northwestern University, and joined the faculty of Emory University School of Law, where he established the Legal Assistance for Inmates Program at the Atlanta Penitentiary.

In 1969, Jacob was appointed, by the Supreme Court, as counsel for petitioner in Kaufman v. United States case. Later, while at the Harvard Law School, he served as a Research Associate in the Center for Criminal Justice, assisted in the establishment of the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project, and supervised the work of law students in the defense of criminal cases and in the representation of indigents in civil matters in the Community Legal Assistance Office, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He received the S.J.D. from the Harvard Law School.

Jacob subsequently served as Professor and Director of Clinical Programs at The Ohio State University College of Law, as Dean and Professor of the Mercer University School of Law and as Vice President of Stetson University and Dean of Stetson College of Law from 1981 through 1994. He is an author and co-author of articles on Criminal Law and Procedure, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and the Administrative Law of Corrections. While on sabbatical leave during 1994-95, he took courses in the LL.M. program in Taxation at the University of Florida College of Law, and received that LL.M. in 1995. He currently teaches constitutional law, criminal procedure, criminal law and administrative law courses at the Stetson University College of Law.

Dean of Stetson University College of Law[edit]

Jacob served as Dean of Stetson University College of Law from 1981 to 1994.[2] His time as Dean was marked by accelerating fear and mistrust among the members of the faculty.[3] One example of controversy involved Manuel Ramos, who joined the faculty in 1992.[4] Ramos was a native of Cuba, and, at the time of his appointment, he and one other person were the only minorities on the faculty.[5] At a faculty meeting devoted to the subject of diversification, Ramos announced that he would not vote to hire "any Anglo/white males until the gender, ethnic, and racial makeup of the faculty mirrored the representation of those groups in Florida."[6] The tenured faculty, concerned about Ramos' overt racism, voted to recommend against renewal of Ramos' teaching contract.[7] Jacob, in an action that "infuriated many members of the faculty,"[8] nonetheless recommended to the President of the University that Ramos' contract be renewed,[9] and did so without informing the faculty or giving them the opportunity to present their views to the President of the University.[10] Jacobs' justification for this action was that the faculty's recommendation against renewal was based solely on Ramos' views on affirmative action (i.e. his unwillingness to hire white males regardless how qualified they might be).[11]


  1. ^ Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963)
  2. ^ Swygert & Vause, Florida's First Law School at 681 (Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2006)
  3. ^ Swygert & Vause, p. 528
  4. ^ Swygert & Vause, p. 523.
  5. ^ Swygert & Vause, p. 524
  6. ^ Swygert & Vause, p. 524
  7. ^ Swygert & Vause, pp. 524-525
  8. ^ Swygert & Vause, p. 525
  9. ^ Swygert & Vause, p. 525
  10. ^ Swygert & Vause, p. 526
  11. ^ Swygert & Vause, p. 526

External links[edit]