Hofstra Law appoints new dean


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Hofstra University’s Maurice A. Deane School of Law has appointed a new dean.


Jenny Roberts, professor of law and co-director of the Criminal Justice Clinic at American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL), will serve as Hofstra Law’s new dean, effective July 1.


Roberts brings more than 22 years of legal-education experience. She spent the last 14 years at AUWCL, and served as an associate dean and a faculty board member for the Criminal Justice Practice and Policy Institute. In addition, she served as chair of the law school appointments and the intellectual life committees. She also participated on numerous university-level committees at American University.

“Jenny Roberts is a scholar and a nationally recognized leader in legal academia,” Hofstra President Susan Poser said in a written statement.

“She is exactly the right person to continue the standard of excellence and to propel Hofstra Law to the next level,” Poser added. “We have found an outstanding leader and look forward to welcoming her to Hofstra University.”

A scholar of criminal law and procedure topics, Roberts’ expertise includes work on the impact of low-level misdemeanors on individuals and communities. She has written articles, book chapters, and U.S. Supreme Court amicus briefs.

Roberts is a frequent commentator on legal news stories on network news (CBS News, NBC News, and MSNBC), in national media (New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles/San Francisco Daily Journal), and radio (NPR Morning Edition, CT Public Radio, WPFW-Pacifica).

“Roberts is well prepared to lead the Maurice A. Deane School of Law,” Charlie Riordan, Hofstra provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said in a written statement.

“With her in-depth knowledge of the law, commitment to faculty excellence, media savviness, and experience on the leading edge of today’s legal issues, she will further the positive reputation and drive innovation at Hofstra Law,” Riordan said.

Prior to her role at AUWCL, Roberts was associate professor of law at Syracuse University College of Law. Before her appointment at Syracuse University, she spent four years at New York University School of Law, three as acting assistant professor for the Lawyering Program and one as senior research fellow for the Center for Research in Crime and Justice. Before taking up teaching, Roberts was a law clerk in the Southern District of New York and a public defender at the Legal Aid Society in Manhattan.

“This is an exciting time to join the Hofstra community and the Deane School of Law,” Roberts said in a statement.

“With Hofstra University’s interdisciplinary infrastructure, which includes medicine, engineering, and technology, the law school is poised to be a leading voice in the practical application of legal and ethical ideas,” she added. “Creative problem-solving and innovation are the future of legal education, and I look forward to working with an outstanding faculty, student body, and alumni base.”

A New York City native and graduate of the public school system, Roberts earned a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University, where she graduated cum laude. She received her JD from the New York University School of Law, graduating magna cum laude.

Jenny Roberts was selected for the position of dean after a national search, after A. Gail Prudenti stepped down as dean.


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