Hofstra Law Faculty

Jenny Roberts

Dean and Professor of Law


JD, 1995, New York University School of Law (magna cum laude); BA, 1987; Yale University (cum laude)


Jenny Roberts is the 11th dean and professor of law at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. She assumed the position on July 1, 2024.

A native New Yorker, Dean Roberts returns to her roots to continue her legacy of groundbreaking contributions to legal education and tireless dedication to countless students.

Dean Roberts has over 22 years of experience in legal education, with the last 14 at American University Washington College of Law where she was co-director of the Criminal Justice Clinic and taught first year Criminal Law. During that time, she served as an associate dean and a faculty board member for the Criminal Justice Practice and Policy Institute. She also chaired the law school appointments and intellectual life committees and participated on numerous university-level initiatives.

Dean Roberts is a nationally recognized criminal justice expert. She frequently speaks to the media, including interviews about the Chauvin trial for the murder of George Floyd on MSNBC and CBS News. She has written numerous articles on topics including misdemeanors and plea bargaining and co-authored a treatise on the collateral consequences of criminal convictions. Her work has appeared in publications including the Yale Law Journal, Cornell Law Review, and the Annual Review of Criminology and has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court and dozens of lower federal and high state courts. Dean Roberts has won American University law school and university scholarly awards, as well as the Excellence in Teaching Award for 2019-20.

Currently on the Board of Advisors for the Plea Bargaining Institute and National Research Advisory Board for the Data Collaborative for Justice at John Jay College, Dean Roberts previously served as co-president of the Clinical Legal Education Association, the nation’s largest association of law professors. She served for three years on the board of the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project and was the Reporter for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Task Force on the Restoration of Rights and Status After Conviction. She has been an active participant in Association of American Law Schools and American Bar Association initiatives.

Dean Roberts previously taught at Syracuse University 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 at the Legal Aid Society in Manhattan and a law clerk in the Southern District of New York.

She grew up in Greenwich Village, attended New York City public schools, and has two grown sons who live and work in New York City.

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