Tonja Jacobi

Professor of Law
Affiliated Faculty, Ford Motor Company Center for Global Citizenship


Tonja Jacobi is Professor of Law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. She has a PhD in political science from Stanford University, a Masters from the University of California, Berkeley, and a law degree with first class honors from the Australian National University. Jacobi specializes in judicial behavior and strategy in public law. Her areas of interest include judicial politics, Supreme Court oral arguments, criminal procedure, and constitutional law. Combining doctrinal, empirical and formal analysis, Jacobi examines how judges respond to institutional constraints. She has published in over 40 peer review and law review journals and is the co-founder of, a website devoted to empirical analysis of Supreme Court oral arguments. 

Areas of Expertise

  • Legislation
  • Judicial Politics
  • Game Theory
  • American Democracy
  • Constitutional Law

Selected Publications

  • Strategic Judicial Preference Revelation, 57 Journal of Law and Economics (forthcoming 2014) (with Alvaro Bustos).
  • The Attrition of Rights under Parole, 87 Southern California Law Review (forthcoming 2014) (with Song Richardson and Gregory Barr).
  • The Filibuster and Reconciliation: The Future of Majoritarian Lawmaking in the U.S. Senate, 47 Uc Davis Law Review 261 (2013) (with Jeff Vandam).
  • The Law and Economics of the Exclusionary Rule, 87 Notre Dame Law Review 585 (2012).
  • The Role of Politics and Economics in Explaining Variation in Litigation Rates in the U.S. States , 38 Journal of Legal Studies 205-233 (2009).
  • Taking the Measure of Ideology: Empirically Measuring Supreme Court Cases , 98 Georgetown Law Journal 1-75 (2009) (with Matthew Sag ).

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  • BA with honors, Australian National University
  • LLB with honors, Australian National University
  • MA, University of California, Berkeley
  • PhD, Stanford University

Prior Appointments

  • Stanford Clinton Sr. and Zylpha Kilbride Clinton Research Professor of Law, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
  • Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law
  • William G. and Virginia K. Karnes Research Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Lecturer, 2003, Stanford University
  • Teaching Assistant, 2001-2002, Stanford University
  • Research Assistant, 2000, University of California, Berkeley
  • Teaching Assistant, fall 1999, University of Canberra Law School

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