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Jenner & Block Associate Precious S. Jacobs received the National Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division’s 2015-2016 Humanitarian Award. The Humanitarian Award was created in 2007 to honor a person who has dedicated time, career and/or money to improve the community through education, community service, social services, health services or political activism. Ms. Jacobs received the award at the association’s 90th annual convention in Los Angeles.
In deciding to honor Ms. Jacobs with this award, the NBA relied on Ms. Jacobs’ long standing commitment to pro bono and involvement in bar associations and boards. The NBA focused in particular on a case that Ms. Jacobs had handled for the Family Defense Center where her efforts included persuading the Illinois Supreme Court to declare a Department of Children & Family Services regulation void ab initio. At issue was DCFS’ “Allegation #60,” an overly broad allegation that allowed DCFS to indicate caregivers who subjected children to “injurious environments.” Ms. Jacobs, working with Partner Michael T. Brody, filed a class action against DCFS to halt the department from continuing to use the regulation despite the Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling. After successfully defeating DCFS’s motions to dismiss and deny class certification, Ms. Jacobs negotiated with DCFS and, along with her co-counsel, was able to strike an agreement that required DCFS to expunge the findings of thousands of Illinois parents. Ms. Jacobs also assisted on the wording of the new regulation.
Ms. Jacobs also serves on several boards, including the board of Women Everywhere and the Black Women Lawyers’ Association Scholarship Board, and co-chairs the Black Women Lawyers’ Association’s Law Student Outreach Committee