1L Matt Jacobs: Escape Room Owner and Brewer Turned Law Student

September 18, 2019

Meet Matt Jacobs, who, in addition to being a first-year law student, is a budding entrepreneur. A graduate of the University of Oregon with bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Spanish as well as a master’s in Philosophy, he owns Mad Genius Escape Rooms in Portland, Oregon. He also spent five years working as a brewer. 

Welcome to the Minnesota Law class of 2022! You worked as a brewer in a brewery and are the owner of an escape room. How do those experiences connect to your desire to study law?

Owning an escape room underscored the value of legal expertise from the opposite perspective, demonstrating that compliance with employment law can be challenging even for employers who prioritize it. Working as a brewer for five years taught me the value of legal representation for workers seeking safe working conditions and remedy for wage theft.

Why did you select Minnesota Law?Minnesota Law Class of 2022

I was initially drawn by the labor and employment curriculum, but what sealed my decision was the camaraderie among students. My campus visit was the first and only time I saw a law student offer their neighbor a congratulatory fist bump after successfully answering a cold call.

Minnesota Law is a place known for putting an emphasis on leadership. What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership takes many forms but I’ve found the most compelling leaders to be those who carefully attend to the world and experiences beyond themselves in order to critically reevaluate their own beliefs and plans of action.

What do you hope to do with your legal education?

I’d like to pursue work that enforces and amplifies protections for workers.

What three words describe you best?

Reflective, curious, committed.

Do you have any hobbies or interests that you would like to share?

History of ideas; fermentation practices and their history.

What else would you like to share with the Minnesota Law community about yourself and/or your aspirations?

Just a question. On a scale of one to flailing, how proficient a skater must one be to join the hockey team?

1L Matt Jacobs
Matt Jacobs, 1L

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