Jacob H. Rooksby is an academic, administrator, and attorney. Appointed Dean of Gonzaga Law School in 2018, Rooksby’s focus at Gonzaga has been on innovating the law school’s programming, facility, and operations and integrating the school further into the broader university and regional communities. A champion of diversity who established the first LGBTQ+ rights legal clinic at a Catholic law school in the country, Rooksby has worked to establish pay equity for faculty and provide equality of opportunity for students, faculty, and staff alike. He holds a joint appointment as a Professor of Law and Leadership Studies and has taught five different courses throughout his deanship.

Rooksby’s scholarship lies in two fields: IP law and higher education law. He published a book with Johns Hopkins University Press in 2016, The Branding of the American Mind: How Universities Capture, Manage, and Monetize Intellectual Property and Why It Matters. He also is co-author of the 6th edition of The Law of Higher Education, the leading treatise in the field. His edited book at the intersection of IP and higher education, Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer, was published by Edward Elgar in 2020.

Rooksby enjoys a strong connection to the legal profession. He holds law licenses in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington and formerly practiced with McGuireWoods LLP and Dentons Cohen & Grigsby P.C., the latter while a full-time academic. He currently serves as IP Optimization Strategist for FIG. 1 Patents, PLLC, a boutique IP law firm based in Spokane, and is an elected member of the American Law Institute, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Rooksby earned his A.B., summa cum laude, in Hispanic Studies and Government from the College of William & Mary, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and spent his senior year living amidst costumed interpreters in Colonial Williamsburg. He holds J.D., M.Ed., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Virginia and completed post-graduate training in higher education leadership and management in 2019 at Harvard University. He is a graduate of the Ignatian Colleagues Program, a program run by the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities designed to educate and inform administrators and faculty more deeply in the Jesuit and Catholic tradition of higher education.

Rooksby is married to Kelly Drew Rooksby, an attorney who is a double Zag grad (’04 & Law ’07). Together they raise three young girls. An avid enthusiast of the outdoors who has summited the highest point of elevation in 44 states, Rooksby enjoys hiking, golfing, skiing, and camping with his family.