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February 2016 - 7 Qs with Lisa Miller
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7 Qs with Lisa Miller, Esq.

Featuring Shaun Dabby Jacobs



WLALA recently asked Shaun Dabby Jacobs seven questions.  Here are her responses:

What is your favorite technology device? Why?

I am a bit of a luddite.  My favorite technology device is my iPhone; my iPad is a close second.  I like the iPhone because it is an entire computer, radio, phone, and email device, and it can keep track of workouts, step counts, etc. And it fits in my pocket!  

What is/was your dream vacation? Why was it the best ever?

The best vacation I ever took with my husband (but without the kids!) was to the North Shore of Oahu.  The weather was perfect, it was relaxing, and we ate great food.  It was a chance to enjoy ourselves without any responsibilities more pressing than, What's for dinner? and, What fun activity should we choose to do today?  Kayaking in a glass-bottom boat or horseback riding on the beach? 

The best vacation I ever took with my husband and children was to Washington D.C.  D.C. is such a dynamic place.  The history and sights are amazing.  They have delicious food. The public transportation (the Metro subway) is so easy to use.  It was great to go there with the kids and watch their excitement when they saw all of the places they learned about at school.

Name the person you admire the most, and the quality that impresses you the most.

This is a hard one.  As a woman attorney, I admire all the female attorneys that came before me and blazed a trail for me to have the career that I have.  I admire them for their tenacity and persistence in the face of many obstacles.  I admire their fearlessness.  

What is your most significant accomplishment, and what impact did it have?

My most significant accomplishment at work is supervising and mentoring the law students and volunteer attorneys in my office.  I am able to see the impact it has because over the course of their externship, I see them progress and become better lawyers, writers and advocates. 

I am also proud of my work with the Santa Monica-Malibu School District as a legislative representative to work with the school community (parents) and the larger Santa Monica community to pass a ballot measure to secure funding for the school district.  This had a huge impact because it saved teachers' jobs, kept class sizes lower than they otherwise would have been, and helped fund arts programs, such as music.  

If you could “fix” one global challenge, what would it be? How would you fix it?

If I could "fix" one global challenge, I would make sure that everyone, regardless of race, gender, etc. has access to high-quality education.  When the children in society have access to education, crime and poverty rates go down, the economy of the region improves, family and cultural life thrive, etc.  I would fix it by ensuring that a teaching career is seen as a valuable and prestigious career choice and by providing teachers with the technology and other resources they need to successfully do their jobs.  

If you could have a career different from the one you are now pursuing, what would it be? Why is this your alternate choice?

I would be a linguist.  I have always been interested in language, word choice, and how the words and phrases used to describe or explain things, shape how people view various situations, events, and the larger world. 

What do you hope to accomplish after you retire? Why is this meaningful to you?

Retirement is a long way away so it is hard to think that far ahead. But in addition to spending time with family, and maybe travelling and seeing the world, I would like to stay involved in the community as an advocate for change. It’s exciting to be involved in the legislative process, whether it be on the state or local levels, and improve the laws and improve people's lives.  

Shaun Dabby Jacobs is a deputy city attorney in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.  She currently defends the City of Los Angeles in labor and employment cases in state and federal courts.  She has extensive experience as a prosecutor and has tried 30 misdemeanor criminal cases to verdict.  Ms. Jacobs has also tried and defended the City and the Los Angeles Police Department in federal and state court against false arrest and excessive-force claims.  Ms. Jacobs has served on the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors since 2002.  She is currently the co-chair of WLALA’s delegation to the Conference of California Bar Associations and serves as a subcommittee chair on the Resolutions Committee of the Conference of California Bar Associations.  Ms. Jacobs is a member of the State Bar’s Committee on Administration of Justice.  Ms. Jacobs received her J.D. from Loyola Law School and her B.A in political science and philosophy from U.C. Davis. She can be reached at

Lisa Miller is a member of the WLALA Board of Trustees, where she works on the legal implications of domestic violence and homelessness.  Ms. Miller is a civil litigator with the Los Angeles-based Marcin Law Firm, LLP.  Ms. Miller teaches 1st Amendment / Law of Mass Communication at the University of Southern California, writes and speaks on free speech and related subjects, and consults on trials and appeals.  She is a hearing officer for numerous California agencies, municipalities, and bar association fee dispute programs.  She serves as a commissioner with the County of Los Angeles Small Business Commission.

Ms. Miller writes the “7 Qs” column for the WLALA newsletter and is always seeking interesting interview subjects.

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