Loren Jacobson, has found a special home at UNT Dallas College of Law, a burgeoning school founded on the principle of making a law degree accessible and affordable to those of all socioeconomic backgrounds. She says, "One of the wonderful things about the UNT Dallas College of Law is how diverse we are, which means I have so many different perspectives in my classroom." It comes full circle. Born in South Africa, Jacobson names Nelson Mandela as her inspirational hero. "The most extraordinary thing about him was his infallible sense of hope," she says. This mother of two teenagers has a lighter side, too, take her favorite movie (hint: Bueller? Bueller?) for example or just drop a dance floor in front of her and watch out. Click below to learn more about Loren.
What is your favorite aspect about your job?
There are a lot of things I like my job, but my favorite is the interactions I have with students. I love to see my students learn and I love to learn from them. It is especially gratifying when my students not only grasp the concepts we are learning in class, but seem enthusiastic about the subject matter, the law or the prospect of being a lawyer. I also love learning from my students. One of the wonderful things about UNT Dallas College of Law is how diverse we are, which means I have so many different perspectives in the classroom. This makes for rich class discussions and it means I am always learning from my students, who may look at the law, or a case, in a different way from the way I do, or who teach me to see a situation, or even the world, in a way I hadn’t considered before.
What employee benefit or activity would you like to see added to UNT World?
Although this wouldn’t benefit me because my children are teenagers, I would like to see UNT World provide paid parental leave to its employees. A lack of paid leave after a baby is born is detrimental to the baby and the whole family, as it pressures parents to return to the workforce early, before sufficient bonding and in some cases, nursing, can be established. I also think that if UNT World is serious about attracting, retaining and supporting women, it must provide paid parental leave. When my children were born, the law firm where I was working afforded me 10 weeks of paid leave, which is a big reason why I went to the firm in the first place and was also part of the reason I stayed there for 12 years.
What is your proudest work moment?
It’s hard for me to pinpoint one proud moment. I’m just really proud to be part of a group of people who are working so hard—sometimes against the odds -- to accomplish the mission at the UNT Dallas College of Law. I believe fervently in our goals of providing access, excellent preparation, value, innovation and community all for the purpose of promoting justice and advancing the potential of a diverse array of students.
What is your proudest non-work moment?
Again, I don’t really have a proud “moment.” What makes me proudest outside of work are my children, and what makes me most proud about them is what good people they are. Both are caring, empathetic, thoughtful, and genuine, and they consistently show their loved ones, friends and even strangers kindness and compassion.
What is a fact about you that may surprise your work colleagues?
Some of them have probably figured this out, but I am, as ABBA would put it, a “dancing queen.” I love to dance! Put me on a dance floor and I will bring it (especially if there’s some Shakira playing)!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE...
Book?: I love Victorian novels, and am especially fond of Jane Austen and George Eliot’s work. But, I think my all-time favorite book is Yaa Gyasi’s "Homegoing." I continue to think about the story, imagery and exquisite writing to this day, even though I read it about four years ago. It is really a novel that has stuck with me.
Movie? Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I’ve watched it 14 times. Nine times. Nine times? No, 14 times!
Inspirational Hero?: Nelson Mandela. I was born in South Africa and have visited Robben Island where Mandela was kept imprisoned. I admire Mandela because he fought for and ultimately achieved the end of apartheid in South Africa. But I think the most extraordinary thing about him was his infallible sense of hope. Even though he was kept in prison for 27 years, he never gave up his belief that equality and justice could be achieved. And although he experienced the worst of humanity, he also never gave up his belief in the human capacity for good. After all he went through, Mandela could have been angry, but he was never animated by hate. Instead, he believed in reconciliation, always looked for the best in people and kept his sense of humor. He was truly an incredible man.