Michael Jacobs Receives ABA’s 2024 John Minor Wisdom Award for His Pro Bono Legal Advocacy

Public Counsel is thrilled to celebrate Michael Jacobs receiving the American Bar Association’s John Minor Wisdom Public Service and Professionalism Award for his exceptional pro bono efforts. Michael, who recently retired from Morrison Foerster, was honored for his pro bono legal advocacy over 25 years to secure educational opportunity through three landmark cases that have fundamentally improved the academic landscape for millions of California children.

In partnership with Public Counsel’s Mark Rosenbaum (first at the ACLU and then at Public Counsel), Michael co-counseled and was the prime architect of these cases—Williams v. State of CaliforniaElla T. v. State of California, and Cayla J. v. State of California—each of which broke new ground in defining and realizing constitutional rights for California students in furtherance of a fundamental right to education. Equally important, this litigation responded to the expressed concerns of grassroots communities engaged in struggles for educational justice, amplifying the voices of children, their families, teachers, and advocates to provide compelling case narratives, gain public support, and obtain sought-after relief through our judicial system.

Congratulations to Michael Jacobs on this well-deserved recognition! Public Counsel is proud to have supported his nomination for this prestigious award. We are honored to have collaborated with Michael and our community partners to win pivotal legal victories for educational equity for children across California. To learn more about Michael’s impactful work, click here.

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