Jenny Roberts

Visiting Professor of Law


Jenny Roberts is a Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law, where she co-directs the Criminal Justice Clinic and teaches Criminal Law. She has written numerous articles on plea bargaining, misdemeanors, and collateral consequences of criminal convictions. Prof. Roberts’ work has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in Padilla v. Kentucky, in 14 state high court opinions, and in a number of state and federal lower courts. She won the Pauline Ruyle Moore Scholar Award for her article Why Misdemeanors Matter: Defining Effective Advocacy in the Lower Criminal Courts (2011), and received the American University Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship, Research, Creative Activity, and Other Professional Contributions in 2014. Prof. Roberts has authored two amicus briefs in the Supreme Court, in Lee v. U.S. (2017) and Smith v. Cain (2011).

Professor Roberts sits on the National Research Advisory Board for the Misdemeanor Justice Projectat John Jay College, and on the advisory board for the Journal of Collateral Consequences and Reentry. Previously, she served on the board and as co-President of the Clinical Legal Education Association, the nation's largest association of law teachers. Professor Roberts was on the board of the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project from 2012-15, and was the Reporter for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)’s Task Force on the Restoration of Rights and Status After Conviction, which published a report with recommendations relating to relief from the collateral consequences of criminal convictions.

Professor Roberts previously taught at Syracuse and in NYU law school’s Lawyering program, and was a Senior Research Fellow at NYU’s Center for Research in Crime & Justice. Before that, she was a public defender in Manhattan and a law clerk in the Southern District of New York.


J.D., New York University School of Law (magna cum laude)

B.A., Yale University (cum laude)


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