Camellia Jacobs: Why Law

Camellia In deciding to pursue law as a career, my assumption and desire was always to work directly with individuals as clients. As a student attorney in the Civil Practice Clinic of my law school, I had the fortune of being assigned a 42 U.S.C. §1983 civil rights action filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Litigating that case left no doubt in my mind that counseling individuals and helping people navigate through issues that affect them on the most profound and personal levels would be the passion and privilege of my legal work.

After completing a judicial clerkship with the D.C. Court of Appeals, I joined a small firm in Washington D.C. working on negligence and civil rights cases. I represented the loved ones and the estates of developmentally disabled wards of the group home systems in D.C. and Maryland who died as a result of abuse and neglect. In the process, I gained valuable litigation and trial experience, bringing cases before judges and juries in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. My litigation experience also includes arguing issues on appeal before the D.C. Court of Appeals and the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland.

A few years into my legal career, I was offered the opportunity to shift my focus to the area of family law. While working at one of the larger family law firms in the D.C. metropolitan area, I became well-versed in all aspects of domestic relations law, including alimony, child support, child custody, domestic violence, and complex property issues. My passion and desire for helping individuals navigate through personal conflict and transition, identify and reach their goals, and move forward in a positive manner, made family law a natural fit.

Expanding my substantive knowledge of family law led me to begin teaching Family Law as an Adjunct Associate Professor of law at American University's Washington College of Law in 2011, where I also teach Externship Seminar courses to help law students plan their legal careers. However it was the experience of starting my own family that made me appreciate the significance of how the process by which individuals choose to restructure their families can affect the substance of their resolution and their relationships moving forward.

Although I bring significant trial and courtroom experience to my practice, I strongly believe in offering my clients the choice of a variety of processes for resolving their family issues, and empowering them in any process they choose to the extent possible. For this reason, I became trained as a mediator and Collaborative Law practitioner and am actively involved in the mediation and Collaborative practice communities in the D.C. metropolitan area.