Photo of Jones, Samuel V.

Samuel V. Jones

Associate Dean for SCALES & Inclusive Excellence

Professor of Law


Building & Room:



300 S. State Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604

Office Phone:

(312) 427-2737 ext. 866

Related Sites:


Professor Jones is an accomplished scholar and one of Chicago's most prominent public intellectuals.


Professor Jones earned the Legum Magister advanced law degree, with recognition, from Columbia University Law School, where he was admitted into Columbia’s highly selective Legal Theory Workshop.  He holds a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Texas Southern University, where he served as teaching assistant to the dean of law school and president of the university. He completed his undergraduate degree at Chaminade University of Honolulu, where he majored in Philosophy.


Prior to joining the tenured faculty at Chicago’s John Marshall Law School, Jones practiced law at K&L Gates (formerly, Hughes & Luce, LLP), one of the nation's largest law firms. Thereafter, he served as senior counsel at AT&T, and later as corporate counsel for Blockbuster, Inc., then the nation's largest home entertainment company.

Professor Jones is the first African American male in the 117-year history of the John Marshall Law School to apply and receive the rank of full professor of law.   For the academic year 2014-2015, Professor Jones ranked within the top 5 of the most cited law professors at the John Marshall Law School.  His work has been cited as authority in textbooks and journals at the nation’s most prestigious law schools, including, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Georgetown, and Berkeley.  Professor Jones has served on the visiting residential faculty at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and the University of Florida Levin College of Law, and has presented his work at the world's leading universities, including, Harvard and Oxford.

Some other legal honors include being:

  • Appointed to the faculty of the Supreme Court of Illinois Judicial Education Conference, a mandatory training vehicle for Illinois judges
  • Awarded the Illinois Judicial Council "Chairpersons Award" for serving as “Special Advisor to the Chair.”
  • Awarded the Cook County Bar Association "Presidential Award" for “outstanding contributions to the Cook County Bar Association”
  • Awarded the John Marshall Law School Faculty Scholarship Award for “significant contributions to legal scholarship”
  • Appointed to the American Bar Association Human Trafficking Task Force
  • Appointed by the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County to a handpicked committee to select the next superintendent of the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center of Cook County, the largest in the United States, and lead the facility through a rigorous federal oversight transition.


Widely known for his seemingly incomparable dexterity and prowess over an extraordinary variety of complex legal issues, Professor Jones has authored a series of highly influential publications.

In "Darfur, the Authority of Law, and Unilateral Humanitarian Intervention," Professor Jones crafted a theory of humanitarian intervention that authorized countries to balance the United Nations restrictions on intervention against human rights imperatives in a manner that recognized the general utility of law and dangers of moral arbitrariness. So convincing in nature was his theory, its influence extended beyond the legal profession, arguably as far as Hollywood. In a published analysis of Professor Jones’s theory, one scholar noted that the portrayal of military intervention depicted in the hit TV show, "The West Wing," "most clearly flows on some level from the 'unilateralist' arguments that Jones advocates."

In "Judges, Friends and Facebook: The Ethics of Prohibition," Professor Jones took the first step in enunciating the ethical risks judges encounter through Facebook “friendships.” Because of the potential for Facebook friendships to evolve into intimate relationships and the reality of social impulses that are inimical to the exercise of proper judicial duties, Jones opined that judges are required to embrace ethics that restrict their capacity to engage in online relationships that could weaken the public’s confidence in the judiciary.  Professor Jones's "restrictionist" exhortation had a chilling effect on judicial conduct in Illinois according to at least one Supreme Court Justice. Nonetheless, his theory emerged as one of the most influential expressions about the nature of judicial conduct and legal ethics; earning Professor Jones numerous speaking engagements, the cover of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, and appointment by the Illinois Supreme Court as an ethics instructor for its judicial education conference.

An ardent defender of Kantian conceptions of human dignity and the idea that respect for human dignity should remain unencumbered by another’s impulses, social rank or individual talent, Professor Jones cautions against the distribution of rights between groups based on notions of fairness rather than human dignity, on grounds that “fairness” is unduly susceptible to bias and political exploitation.  In a New York Times published response to esteemed commentator, Charles Blow, Professor Jones asserts that to preserve “moral authority,” people have a responsibility to condemn all violence and that “rebuke should not turn on whether the victim is heterosexual or homosexual, male or female, or a member of a group to which we belong, but whether there was an offense made against a person’s human dignity.”

Concerned about the spate of police killings of unarmed minorities, and the source of growing discord between law enforcement and minority communities, Professor Jones authored, "FBI Warning of White Supremacists Infiltration of Law Enforcement Nearly Forgotten."  After exposing the threat posed to law enforcement and minorities alike, Professor Jones concluded that, “the white supremacist threat should inform all Americans that today’s civil discord is not borne out of a robust animosity towards law enforcement, most of whom are professional. Rather, it’s more representative of a centuries-old ideological clash, which has ignited in citizens of good will a desire to affirm notions of racial equality so that the moral ethos of American culture is a reality for all.”  His piece became a social media phenomenon, garnering millions of reads, over 183,000 Facebook "likes," and sparked a national discussion about the relationship between right wing extremism and law enforcement. The work was the feature topic on multiple news platforms, leading to Jones’s appearance on TV and radio shows, including "Huffington Post Live" and Chicago’s "Cliff Kelley Show."

Professor Jones also authored the highly regarded op-ed, "An Oppressive Cook County Courtroom." "Our nation's perennial allegiance to the idea that courts are public so that justice may be discussed and criticized in public has such strong appeal to the personal ethos of American culture that even the nation's highest court is open to the public and permits note-taking. So should Cook County officials have discretion to ban citizens from taking notes during public court proceedings?" Professor Jones asked.  So influential was his piece, the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County issued General Administrative Order No 2014-06, which flatly rebuked the practice and prohibited judges from instituting general bans on courtroom note-taking for the first time in the Cook County history. The Chicago Tribune would subsequently publish, "Judge Sullivan, Take Notes: A Law Professor Schools a Cook County Judge in the First Amendment," identifying Jones’s work as the catalyst for the new regulation and robust improvements in Cook County courtroom procedures.

In "Ending ‘Bacha Bazi: Boy Sex Slavery and the Responsibility to Protect Doctrine," the first law review publication dedicated to exposing the culture of pedophilia in Afghanistan, Professor Jones opined that boy sex slavery is a “constitutive and central feature” of Afghanistan, and that Afghan provincial governors, military and police officials, are openly engaged in the “sexual exploitation of Afghan’s boy population.” He concluded that, “the Afghan government's failure to safeguard its populace from sexual violence has significantly undermined U.S. counterinsurgency objectives, raising serious questions about prospects for peace and security in the region.”  Within months after the publication of Professor Jones’s analysis, the U.S. Department of Defense Inspector General launched a full investigation into the Afghan government’s complicity in the systematic sexual exploitation of Afghan boys.

Some other notable publications include:

  • The Invisible Man: The Neglect of Men and Boys in the Publicity Regarding Human Trafficking;
  • The Ethics of Letting Civilians Die in Afghanistan: Resolving the False Dichotomy between Hobbesian and Kantian Rescue Paradigms;
  • The Moral Plausibility of Contract: Using the Covenant of Good Faith to Prevent Resident Physician Fatigue-Related Medical Errors; and
  • Has Conduct in Iraq Confirmed the Moral Inadequacy of International Humanitarian Law? Examining the Confluence between Contract Theory and the Scope of Civilian Immunity During Armed Conflict.

Professor Jones has appeared as an expert on national and local news radio and television, including ABC News, CBS Chicago, and quoted in leading newspapers, including the Dallas Morning News, The Times Picayanne, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, and the Chicago Tribune.

Military Service

In a highly distinguished military career, Professor Jones ascended to Major.  He is a former U.S. Army judge advocate, U.S. Army military police captain, and U.S. Marine infantryman.

Some other military honors include, being:

  • Awarded The Army Achievement Medal by the Secretary of the Army for “exceptional meritorious achievement as an instructor;”
  • Awarded The Army Achievement Medal by the Secretary of the Army for being named, “Distinguished Honor Graduate” of a rigorous training certification course;
  • Awarded the U.S. Navy Meritorious Unit Citation for his actions as a Marine scout in the Navy SEAL-directed counterterrorism program known as Red Cell;
  • Awarded the National Defense Service Medal for conduct during The Gulf War;
  • Appointed to U.S. Army Special Operations position (CA); and
  • Selected for advanced training at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center & School.
  • Awarded a personalized expression of gratitude from former Secretary of State, Gen. (Ret)) Colin Powell.

Professor Jones earned diplomas from numerous military schools, including the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, the U.S. Army Military Police Officer School, U.S. Marines Officer Candidates School Platoon Leaders Course (Quantico), the U.S. Army Officer Candidates School, and the U.S. Marines Noncommissioned Officers Leadership Course.

Community Leadership

Professor Jones continues to serve as a special adviser to various judicial offices and organizations. He currently sits on the Legal and Budget Committee for the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center of Cook County and the board of directors for the Chicago Innocence Center.

He teaches Contracts, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Criminal Law, and Professional Responsibility.