Alumni Spotlight: Jacob Bliss '13

What year did you graduate from Bennington? 2013


  • University of Nebraska Omaha, B.S., Bioinformatics (2017)
  • New College, Oxford University, Tutorials in C.S. Lewis (Summer 2015)
  • Pepperdine Law School, J.D. Candidate (May 2020)



  • Graduated summa cum laude, Regents and Walter Scott Jr. Scholarships, Dean’s List all four years, Resident Assistant at Scott Campus.

Pepperdine Law

  • Dean’s Merit Scholarship, 11 CALI Awards, Editor-in-Chief of the Pepperdine Law Review, Evan T. Carthen 1L Award for Inspirational Leadership, Research Assistant, Legal Writing Tutor, Moot Court Team.

“In college I worked at the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office. In Law School I have worked as an extern for a federal judge, a research assistant for a professor, a law clerk at the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and a summer associate at a law firm in Washington D.C. After law school I will clerk for a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.”

What do you enjoy most about the career path you have chosen? 

“I really enjoy how the law allows me to be constantly learning and understanding more about the world. There are a nearly unlimited numbers of paths one can take after law school, including some that don’t involve practicing law at all. But there is a certain way of thinking, solving problems, and looking at the world—some call it “thinking like a lawyer”—that law school instills, and I know these skills will help me wherever I end up.”

Favorite Teacher at BHS?

 “Although it is very difficult to choose just one teacher, my favorites are probably my two basketball coaches, Coach Olson and Coach Grinvalds. Coach Olson ran a tight ship and was a fantastic mentor for me during my junior and senior years. Coach Grinvalds invested in me throughout high school and his classes are some of my best memories from BHS.”

Favorite Memory at BHS?

“One memory that stands out is cooking burgers on a George Foreman grill in the back of Ms. Bieber’s classroom with my friends and playing buzzword. We worked very hard in Ms. Bieber’s class and she was an excellent teacher, but we also knew how to let our hair down a little bit, which I think is important.”

What advice would you give to Bennington students who want to follow a similar career path as you?

“Find successful people you admire who are working in your field of interest and ask them how they got where they are. Try to work for those people in some capacity.  See every new experience you have and person you meet as an opportunity to learn and grow. Be intellectually curious and constantly be reading. Don’t be a self-promoter. Work hard and let others call attention to your accomplishments. Always be humble and kind to everyone.”

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