01. Background & Biography
Camellia Jacobs is a partner with Zavos Juncker Law Group, PLLC. She began her career as a trial attorney, bringing civil rights and negligence matters before judges and juries in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. She has also argued cases on appeal before the D.C. Court of Appeals and the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland.
After shifting her focus to Family Law full time in 2004, Camellia became passionate about empowering clients to resolve their family issues respectfully and efficiently. She feels privileged to have the unique opportunity to counsel individuals and families while helping them navigate through issues that affect them on the most profound and personal levels. The experience of starting her own family increased her appreciation for how significantly the process by which individuals choose to restructure their families can affect the substance of their resolution and their relationships moving forward. For these reasons, she became a trained and experienced Mediator and Collaborative Law Practitioner. She strives to ensure that her clients are informed and educated not only on the substantive law as it applies to their situation, but also on the processes available to them in resolving their legal matters in the way that most closely reflects their goals, values, and interests.
Prior to joining Zavos Juncker in 2014, Camellia was the founder of Jacobs Mediation LLC, a mediation practice dedicated to helping families resolve conflict without the need for litigation. She also serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at American University, Washington College of Law, where she has taught Family Law and Externship Seminars since 2011. Outside of work, Camellia enjoys traveling and going to live music and dance shows. When not attending her son’s sports activities, she engages in community-service efforts for local non-profits, including A Wider Circle, Interfaith Works, Leveling the Playing Field, and Martha’s Table. She is also an active member of the Executive Board of the Parent Teacher Association at her son’s school.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
- Domestic Relations
- 65% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- Maryland, 2000
- District of Columbia, 2001
- Virginia, 2003
- American University, Washington College of Law, Washington, District of Columbia
- J.D. – 2000
- Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
- B.A. – 1997
- Major: Political Science and Communications
- Family Law, Washington College of Law, 2011 – 2014
- Externship Seminar, Washington College of Law, 2012 – 2015
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS
- Maryland Council for Dispute Resolution, Executive Board member, 2011 – 2013
- Collaborative Dispute Resolution Professionals, Executive Board member, 2012 – 2014
PAST EMPLOYMENT POSITIONS
- Jacobs Mediation LLC, Principal, 2013 – 2014
- Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP, Associate, 2004 – 2011
PRO BONO ACTIVITIES
- D.C. Superior Court, Family Court Self-Help Center, 2006 – 2011
- D.C. Superior Court, Attorney Negotiator Project, 2008 – 2010
- Sigma Delta Tau
02. Why Law
In deciding to pursue law as a career, my assumption and desire was always to work directly with individuals as clients. As a student attorney in the Civil Practice Clinic of my law school, I had the fortune of being assigned a 42 U.S.C. §1983 civil rights action filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Litigating that case left no doubt in my mind that counseling individuals and helping people navigate through issues that affect them on the most profound and personal levels would be the passion and privilege of my legal work.
After completing a judicial clerkship with the D.C. Court of Appeals, I joined a small firm in Washington, D.C. and worked on negligence and civil rights cases. I represented the loved ones and the estates of developmentally disabled wards of the group home systems in D.C. and Maryland who died as a result of abuse and neglect. In the process, I gained valuable litigation and trial experience, bringing cases before judges and juries in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. My litigation experience also includes arguing issues on appeal before the D.C. Court of Appeals and the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland.
A few years into my legal career, I was offered the opportunity to shift my focus to the area of family law. While working at one of the larger family law firms in the D.C. metropolitan area, I became well-versed in all aspects of domestic relations law, including alimony, child support, child custody, domestic violence, and complex property issues. My passion and desire for helping individuals navigate through personal conflict and transition, identify and reach their goals, and move forward in a positive manner made family law a natural fit.
Expanding my substantive knowledge of family law led me to begin teaching Family Law as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at American University’s Washington College of Law in 2011, where I also teach Externship Seminar courses to help law students plan their legal careers. However, it was the experience of starting my own family that helped me gain a greater appreciation of how and why people decide to restructure their families.
Although I bring significant trial and courtroom experience to my practice, I strongly believe in offering my clients the choice of a variety of processes for resolving their family issues and empowering them in any process they choose, to the extent possible. For this reason, I became trained as a mediator and Collaborative Law practitioner and am actively involved in the mediation and Collaborative practice communities in the D.C. metropolitan area.
03. Speaking Engagements
- Panelist, “Gender and Mediation”: Gender and the Practice of Law Series, Women and the Law Program, American University Washington College of Law, Washington DC.
- Panelist, “Maryland Standards of Conduct for Mediators” (webinar): Maryland State Bar Association, ADR Section Council.
- Testimony before the Maryland State Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on the “Maryland Mediation Confidentiality Act” (SB0409).