DOWNEY – Local immigration and criminal defense attorney Robert F. Jacobs was honored as the 2019 Attorney of the Year by the local Southeast District Bar Association (SEDBA) at the Rio Hondo Golf Club earlier this month.
The award recognizes an attorney who demonstrates exceptional legal knowledge and skill in their field of law, and contribution to the legal profession and the community.
Jacobs is the founder of the immigration and criminal defense law firm of Robert F. Jacobs & Associates, PLC.
He received Bachelor of Science degrees in Economics & Political Science, with Honors, from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, and earned the Dean’s Scholarship to pursue his Law degree from Marquette University, where he was a member of the Law Review.
Jacobs has been honored as a Thompson Reuters Super Lawyer in Immigration Law for the past five years (2015-2019) and has been a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law by the State Bar of California since 2007.
He has conducted immigration court cases in thirteen different states between Hawaii and Massachusetts, and presented nine Oral Arguments before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is also a regular planner and speaker at legal seminars educating other lawyers about immigration law.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by the Downey Kiwanis Noon Club of which Robert Jacobs is a proud Past President and current Trustee. In Kiwanis, he has participated in community service for organizations such as the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, ARC, and the Key Club and Kiwins clubs at Downey High School.
He has also been a Trustee of SEDBA, the Immigration Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), the Mexican American Bar Association (MABA), and has been a long time member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
His father, Darrel Jacobs, introduced and presented Robert Jacobs with the award. Robert revealed the sacrifices of immigration attorneys by discussing two heroes including Judy Wood, the subject of a new movie entitled “Saint Judy.”
In the true story, she struggles to save a woman from Afghanistan who was threatened by the Taliban for starting a school for girls, and changed political asylum law forever.
The second was Nora Phillips, the director of the organization “Al Otro Lado.” She travels to Tijuana, Mexico to provide services and protect the human rights of recent deportees and trapped asylum seekers, but last week her passport was suspiciously flagged by a government (possibly the U.S.), resulting in her being denied entry into Mexico and deported back to the U.S., jeopardizing her courageous organization and mission.
Following the event, however, Robert Jacobs specified, “my favorite hero is my wife, the Honorable Judge Lillian Vega Jacobs. As a childhood immigrant from Mexico, she overcame so much adversity to become an Assistant District Attorney for Los Angeles County, a Partner in our former office of Jacobs & Vega, PLC, and the SEDBA President and Attorney of the Year.
“In masterfully balancing family with her grueling and successful career, she has been admirably raising our two wonderful children and was appointed by Governor Brown to the Los Angeles Superior Court. She began as a Judge in Downey and is currently the Presiding Judge of Bellflower in a criminal court assignment.”