5 minutes with: Prof. Matthias Jacobs

Prof. Jacobs, who holds the Chair in Labor Law, speaks about his work and why he keeps coming back to the law school – #4

Prof. Dr. Matthias Jacobs is Professor of Civil Law, Labor Law and Civil Procedure Law at Bucerius Law School. In the video "5 minutes with" he explains why employment law is sexy and why he feels so comfortable at the university.


Fascination with labor law

Labor law is Prof. Jacobs’ favorite subject. He particularly likes the polarity that exists between employees and employers, which is typical of labor law. This is exactly what makes the subject so accessible to students, since almost everyone takes one of the two positions during a lecture, and they can therefore easily discuss, or even argue, with each other. This is particularly fun during one’s studies, which is why Prof. Jacobs sticks to his old mantra: “Employment law is sexy!”


Prof. Jacobs loves going on field trips

Prof. Jacob’s excursions are particularly important in employment law. This is because, on the one hand, students can see what they have learned in the lecture hall being applied in practice. On the other hand, students can also understand where labor law comes from and why it exists.

For example, during an excursion students can see for themselves in factory shift work why special regulations are required for operations on the assembly line. Questions as to whether laws make sense in practice or are applicable can also be raised and answered during excursions to workplaces.

News from the Chair of Prof. Jacobs

Whether employees who regularly work one shift at night should receive a lower surcharge than those who only exceptionally work at night, because they are merely filling in, is a question that has long been controversial in labor law. The Federal Labor Court has now decided that this practice violates Art 3 GG. Pursuant to this, Prof. Jacobs has filed a constitutional complaint, an action for interpretation under the Collective Bargaining Agreement Act. He is also currently involved in a lawsuit before the ECJ.


Fun at work

Prof. Jacobs enjoys his work and loves having contact with young people. He likes confronting issues that his generation doesn’t usually concern itself with, such as climate change. He hasn’t owned a car in years and is mostly vegetarian. But other aspects of working with young people, such as the traditional football game between his chair and the criminal law chair, as well as the law school parties, give Prof. Jacobs great pleasure.

5 minutes with

In the video series: "5 minutes with" we introduce our professors. What professorship do you hold? What areas of law are you researching? However, we are just as interested in what kind of people our professors are. Who is the person behind the chair? What fascinates you about the university and Hamburg? You can find out about all this and much more in “5 minutes with”. Are you also interested in the other portraits? Then take a look here:

All Portraits

Bucerius Law School for ever

Prof. Jacobs has twice had the opportunity to move to another university, but nevertheless chose to stay on at Bucerius, which he calls “the most beautiful university in the world”. He loves the city, the green surroundings of the campus, the committed students, the faculty, and the efficient administration. This is the perfect working environment for him!


Florian Helwich, Emma Schimmel