William A. Jacobson is a Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Securities Law Clinic. He is a 1981 graduate of Hamilton College and a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School. At Harvard he was Senior Editor of the Harvard International Law Journal and Director of Litigation for the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project. Prior to joining the Cornell law faculty in 2007, Professor Jacobson had a highly successful civil litigation and arbitration practice in Providence, Rhode Island, concentrating in investment, employment, and business disputes in the securities industry, including many high profile cases reported in leading newspapers and magazines.
Professor Jacobson has a national reputation as a leading practitioner in securities arbitration, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association, an organization of over 450 attorneys dedicated to protecting public investors. Professor Jacobson frequently is quoted in national media on issues related to investment fraud and investor protection, and in the past has served as one of a small number of private practice attorneys who trained new arbitrators for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Professor Jacobson has argued cases in numerous federal and state courts, including the Courts of Appeal for the First, Fifth and Sixth Circuits, and the Rhode Island Supreme Court. His academic interests include alternative dispute resolution, electronic evidence discovery, and the scope of arbitrator power in contractual arbitration.