Jessica Capshaw was born in Columbia, Missouri, the daughter of actress Kate Capshaw (née Kathleen Sue Nail) and salesman Robert Capshaw. Her parents were both students at the University of Missouri. The family moved to New York to pursue Kate's modeling career. Her parents divorced when she was three and Jessica got drawn into her mother's new world. Kate married director Steven Spielberg when Jessica was 15. Among her three parents, she is one of 10 biological and adopted siblings. Jessica graduated from Brown University in 1998 with an English degree. She then attended acting classes at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. From there, she got her first acting role on TV's Odd Man Out (1999).