Jacob's work draws on interdisciplinary approaches to the study of law, policy, and institutions. His writing evaluates approaches drawn from political science, economics, and history, and studies their applicability to the design of law and institutions. His current research projects include a book, with Dennis Patterson, on expertise, elites, skepticism, and populism in American politics (under contract with MIT Press).
Other research explores the evolution of the American corporation in the 20th century, in an attempt to understand how shifting ideas about capitalism and markets in the last half of the century changed American business and not-for-profits. In past scholarship, he has looked at the application of behavioral law and economics to consumer and investor protection, the regulation of payday loans, stock market day-trading, and retirement savings. He is co-editor with Arthur Laby of Fiduciary Obligations in Business, published by Cambridge University Press in 2021.
Jacob's courses include Business Organizations, Securities Regulation, Advanced Business Organizations: Alternative Entities (co-taught with Vice Chancellor Travis Laster of the Delaware Court of Chancery), Populism and the Law (co-taught with Dennis Patterson) and the Modern Corporation and Capitalism (a seminar on the history and political economy of the American corporation). He is a faculty affiliate of the Rutgers Center for Corporate Law and Governance. He co-organizes the Center's annual Institute on Corporate Compliance.
Jacob received his J.D. from Stanford Law School, a master’s degree in political science from M.I.T., and his A.B. from Harvard.
Prior to joining the Rutgers faculty, Jacob was teaching fellow and lecturer in law at Stanford Law School, where he oversaw all aspects of advising, teaching, and admissions for the school's LL.M. Program in Corporate Governance and Practice. At Stanford, he taught the Corporate Governance Colloquium, a seminar on the economic analysis of corporate law, and Contracts for advanced degree students. He was also an academic fellow at Stanford’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance.
Before law school, Jacob was a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal in New York, covering arts, culture, and philanthropy. He has subsequently worked as editor at large and a freelance reporter for several publications. Following law school, Jacob was an attorney in the financial services group at Goodwin Procter in Boston.
Jacob is the vice-president of the board of Project H.O.P.E., a nonprofit Federally Qualified Health Center that provides medical and social care to the homeless and others in need in Camden, N.J. Jacob regularly consults on legal and business issues to start-ups, particularly in the media and technology industries. He is admitted to practice in New Hampshire (inactive) and Massachusetts.