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Wendy B. Jacobs

Wendy B. Jacobs  Esq.
Clinical Professor of Law
Director of the Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic
Harvard Law School
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Wendy B. Jacobs is a Clinical Professor at Harvard Law School and Director of the Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic. Ms. Jacobs received her J.D. with honors in 1981 from Harvard Law School, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

After law school, Ms. Jacobs first worked as an appellate lawyer and special litigator for the U.S. Department of Justice in its Environment Division in Washington, D.C. She then did a brief stint with a law firm in Seattle working on First Amendment and commercial litigation, followed by 18 years as a partner in the Boston law firm, Foley Hoag LLP, where she worked almost exclusively on environmental matters, involving myriad environmental laws, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and a host of interesting private sector clients. Her work has covered the gamut of compliance counseling, handling of complex permit applications and their related hearings and appeals, preparation of comments on federal and state rulemakings, drafting of legislation, regulations and ordinances, administrative trials and appeals, litigation, negotiation and drafting of contracts, environmental due diligence and audits, and development of corporate risk management and environmental protection policies and manuals.

She came to Harvard in 2007 to create its Environmental Law & Policy Clinic. As Clinic Director, she provides her students opportunities for innovative, real-time experience on a variety of complex environmental law and policy projects, including projects and litigation focusing on renewable energy, sea level rise, and other aspects of climate change adaptation, sustainable aquaculture, hydraulic fracturing to extract oil and gas from shale, carbon capture and sequestration, mountaintop removal mining, and improved oversight and management of offshore drilling.

In addition to designing and supervising clinic projects, Ms. Jacobs also teaches a course designed to expose students to the practical skills they will need and the controversies they will face practicing environmental law. This year, the course is taught through the lens of a wind farm controversy. For two years, she taught and developed case studies for the Harvard Law School Problem Solving Workshop—an innovative class required of all first-year law students to expose them to lawyering skills.

For more information, please visit her official faculty website at: