En Garde: Olympian Incorporates Fencing Skills in Study of Law

A sabre fencer turned lawyer is rare, but to Emily Jacobson (J.D./M.B.A. ’14) it makes perfect sense. She found a way to use the skills she learned while fencing and apply it to the Georgia State University College of Law program.

“Overall, through my years as a competitive athlete, I learned the true meaning of hard work and experienced the gratification when it all paid off and that has helped me stay motivated in law school,” says Jacobson, who began fencing at age 11.

The sport was a family affair for Jacobson, her father and three sisters were all fencers.

“It required a lot of traveling, we practiced six days a week. I missed out on a lot of high school events, but looking back I wouldn’t change it for the world,” she says. Jacobson is most proud of competing in the 2004 Athens Olympics. Most recently, she was inducted into Columbia University’s Athletics Hall of Fame for her outstanding accomplishments.

By the end of high school, she became interested in law after watching her older sister become a lawyer. Jacobson continued to participate in fencing until 2010 when she was accepted into Georgia State Law. The aspiring lawyer knew her availability would change and it was time to embark on a new journey.

Jacobson says she learned the true meaning of hard work while fencing. “…I learned discipline and experienced the result of that, I know what I can do. It helped me with confidence.”

Even though she can no longer be found swinging her sabre on a strip, Jacobson has found another way to utilize her competitive spirit­­ — except this time it’s inside of a courtroom.

“You have to be able to think on your feet because nothing goes as planned. If you’re not thinking ahead of your opponent you’re not going to win,” she explains.

While attending law school, Jacobson served as a mentor in the Georgia State Athletics department. She worked with athletes who struggle with academics.

Jacobson, a December graduate is still job searching, and hopes to use her dual degree to practice in the areas of business or tax law.

–Jaya Franklin

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