- Senior Associate Dean and Chief of Staff, and Professor of Law
Dean Jacobs joined the Michigan State University College of Law faculty in 2002. She is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in family law. Specifically, her scholarship advocates for legal recognition of non-traditional families and changes to the traditional establishment of parent-child relationships due to the increased use of assisted reproductive technologies. Dean Jacobs has argued in favor of preserving nonbiological parental relationships to foster the best interests of children as well as recognizing more than two legal parents in certain circumstances. Her work has been featured in nearly a dozen law reviews including the Buffalo Law Review, Arizona State Law Journal, and Yale Journal of Law & Feminism. Her current research and scholarship explores the link between procreative autonomy and intentional parenthood. Dean Jacobs is part of the Feminists Judgments Project in which she has submissions in both Reproductive Justice Rewritten and Family Law Rewritten (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press).
Dean Jacobs teaches courses in Child, Family & the State, Trusts & Estates, and a seminar in Assisted Reproductive Technologies and the Law. Dean Jacobs is the 2018 recipient of the Donald F. Campbell Outstanding Teaching Award and was awarded an MSU Lilly Teaching Fellowship in 2006-2007 in recognition of her teaching. Previous to MSU, Dean Jacobs served as a Freedman Fellow and a lecturer in law at Temple University School of Law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her additional teaching experience includes two years as a clinical instructor for the Hale & Dorr Legal Services Center at Harvard Law School in Boston, Massachusetts and as an adjunct instructor at the Boston University School of Law.
She also serves as the Senior Associate Dean & Chief of Staff, managing a broad administrative portfolio. In 2016-2017, Dean Jacobs was a participant in the Big Ten Academic Alliance Academic Leadership Fellows Program. She serves on numerous advisory committees at MSU and is the former Chair of the Association of American Law Schools’ Family & Juvenile Law Section.
Dean Jacobs received her A.B. from Columbia College in New York City, her J.D. from Boston University, and her LL.M. from Temple University. She is admitted to the Massachusetts Bar.