Anna Roberts

Professor of Law
J.D., New York University School of Law (magna cum laude);M.A., University of Cambridge; B.A., University of Cambridge (Starred 1st with Distinction)

Professor Roberts is a scholar of criminal procedure and evidence, with articles published or forthcoming in journals that include the University of Chicago Law Review, Washington University Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, Boston University Law Review, Alabama Law Review, Boston College Law Review, and U.C. Davis Law Review, and a book chapter recently published by the Oxford University Press.

Roberts’s scholarship focuses on the role of assumptions and stereotypes within criminal law and scholarship. Her first articles examined this topic in various jury contexts: jury deliberation, jury selection, and jury disqualification. A subsequent trilogy of articles addressed prior conviction impeachment. More recent work continues to examine the meaning attributed to arrests and to convictions, and focuses on the assumptions conveyed and fueled by popular criminal justice terms, such as “victim,” “offender,” and “recidivism.”

Three of Professor Roberts's articles have been selected by the Academic Advisory Board of the Getting Scholarship into Court Project for inclusion on its "must read" list, and a fourth was selected from the 2015 Call for Papers of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS). Her work was repeatedly cited in a recent U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Report on consequences of conviction.

Professor Roberts teaches Evidence, Torts, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Contemporary Topics in Criminal Law. She was awarded the Dean’s Outstanding Teaching Award in 2019 and the Dean’s Outstanding Scholarship Award in 2020.

Professor Roberts has analyzed evidentiary and criminal justice issues for a variety of media outlets. Her work on prior conviction impeachment was featured on evidence podcast "Excited Utterance," and she has testified about jury exclusion on the basis of criminal records at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Roberts is a member of the Executive Committee of the AALS’s Evidence Section, and is co-directing an initiative bringing together the leading scholars on prior conviction impeachment in an effort to identify and pursue opportunities for reform.

Professor Roberts holds a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Cambridge, where she graduated first in her class in Classics, earning a Starred First with Distinction. She graduated magna cum laude from NYU School of Law, where she was a Dean's Scholar, a Florence Allen Scholar, and a Member of the Order of the Coif.

Roberts began her academic career teaching in NYU School of Law’s Lawyering Program, and then at Seattle University School of Law. Her practice experience includes several years as a public defender with the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem. Before that, she clerked for The Honorable Constance Baker Motley, in the Southern District of New York.

Professor Roberts lives in Brooklyn with her wife and their six-and-a-half-year-old.

Victims, Right?, 42 CARDOZO L. REV. (forthcoming 2021)

Convictions as Guilt, 88 FORDHAM L. REV. (2020)

Arrests as Guilt, 70 ALA. L. REV. (2019)

LEAD Us Not into Temptation: A Response to Barbara Fedders’s “Opioid Policing,” 94 IND. L.J. SUPPLEMENT 91 (2019)

Jurors' Reactions to Implicit Biases: Are Informational Interventions Effective?, in CRIMINAL JURIES IN THE 21ST CENTURY: PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE AND THE LAW (Cynthia Najdowski & Margaret Stevenson, eds., Oxford University Press, 2018)

The Missing American Jury: Restoring the Fundamental Constitutional Role of the Criminal, Civil, and Grand Juries by Suja A. Thomas, 132 POL. SCI. Q. 179 (2018) (review)

Dismissals as Justice, 69 ALA. L. REV. 327 (2017)

Reclaiming the Importance of the Defendant's Testimony: Prior Conviction Impeachment and the Fight Against Implicit Stereotyping, 83 U. CHI. L. REV. 835 (2016)

Conviction by Prior Impeachment, 96 B.U. L. REV 1977 (2016)

Asymmetry as Fairness: Reversing a Peremptory Trend, 92 WASH. U. L. REV. 1503 (2015)

Impeachment by Unreliable Conviction, 55 B.C. L. REV. 563 (2014)

Casual Ostracism: Jury Exclusion on the Basis of Criminal Convictions, 98 MINN. L. REV. 592 (2013)

Disparately Seeking Jurors: Disparate Impact and the (Mis)use of Batson, 45 U.C. DAVIS L. REV. 1359 (2012)

(Re)forming the Jury: Detection and Disinfection of Implicit Juror Bias, 44 CONN. L. REV. 827 (2012)