Faculty

Contact

Sullivan Hall 320
(206) 398-4083
robertan@seattleu.edu

Education

B.A., University of Cambridge, 1999
M.A., University of Cambridge
J.D., New York University School of Law, 2003

Specializations

Criminal Law
Criminal Procedure
Evidence

Courses

    • Criminal Law  (CRIM-100-A)

        Anna Roberts

        Associate Professor of Law and Faculty Fellow, Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality

        Curriculum VitaePDF

        Biography

        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 New York University School of Law, where she was a Dean's Scholar, a Florence Allen Scholar, and a Member of the Order of the Coif.

        Professor Roberts's scholarship focuses on race and the criminal trial, with a particular focus on criminal jury trials. Her scholarship has addressed peremptory challenges, implicit juror bias, and the use of prior convictions to impeach defendants and disqualify jurors.

        Professor Roberts's articles have appeared, or are forthcoming, in journals that include the University of Chicago Law Review, Washington University Law Review, Boston University Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, Boston College Law Review, Alabama Law Review, and U.C. Davis Law Review. A book chapter on implicit juror bias is forthcoming with the Oxford University Press.

        Two of Professor Roberts's articles - Impeachment by Unreliable Conviction and (Re)forming the Jury: Detection and Disinfection of Implicit Juror Bias - have been selected by the Academic Advisory Board of the Getting Scholarship into Court Project for inclusion on its "must read" list. Her article Asymmetry as Fairness: Reversing a Peremptory Trend was one of four pieces selected from the 2015 Call for Papers of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS).

        Professor Roberts has been invited to brief the United States Civil Rights Commission on jury exclusion on the basis of criminal convictions. She has explored another consequence of conviction-prior conviction impeachment-in a trilogy of articles, and has discussed the topic on the evidence law podcast "Excited Utterance," and at several judicial conferences.

        Professor Roberts has also addressed several judicial conferences on the topic of implicit juror bias. She was recently invited to give a keynote speech on this topic at a gathering of Washington State trial judges, as they consider adopting implicit bias jury instructions.

        Professor Roberts has provided media commentary on topics such as prior conviction impeachment, discrimination in jury selection, and methods for combating juror bias. She has written for Casetext on the abolition of peremptory strikes, prior conviction impeachment, and Supreme Court case Foster v. Chatman.

        Before entering the legal academy, Professor Roberts served as a law clerk to Judge Constance Baker Motley of the Southern District of New York and worked as a public defender at the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, where her trial practice included representation of clients facing felony charges that included sexual assault, drug possession, and murder.

        Professor Roberts began her teaching career as an Acting Assistant Professor of Lawyering at NYU School of Law. She continued her focus on experiential education with a subsequent fellowship at NYU School of Law's Experiential Learning Lab.

        Professor Roberts is Co-Chair of the Academics Committee of the ABA Criminal Justice Section, and a member of the Amicus Committee for the National Association for Public Defense.

        Publications

        Articles

        Dismissals as Justice, 69 ALA. L. REV. (forthcoming Dec. 2017)
        https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2967562

        Reclaiming the Importance of the Defendant's Testimony: Prior Conviction Impeachment and the Fight Against Implicit Stereotyping, 83 U. CHI. L. REV. 835 (2016)
        http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2620005

        Conviction by Prior Impeachment, 96 B.U. L. REV 1977 (2016)
        http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2768951

        Asymmetry as Fairness: Reversing a Peremptory Trend, 92 WASH. U. L. REV. 1503 (2015)
        http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2419843

        Impeachment by Unreliable Conviction, 55 B.C. L. REV. 563 (2014)
        http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2329452

        Casual Ostracism: Jury Exclusion on the Basis of Criminal Convictions, 98 MINN. L. REV. 592 (2013)
        http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2234257

        Disparately Seeking Jurors: Disparate Impact and the (Mis)use of Batson, 45 U.C. DAVIS L. REV. 1359 (2012)
        http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1854686

        (Re)forming the Jury: Detection and Disinfection of Implicit Juror Bias, 44 CONN. L. REV. 827 (2012)
        http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1935617

        Student Note

        "Soldiering on in Hope": United Nations Peacekeeping in Civil Wars, 35 N.Y.U. J. INT'L L. & POL. 839 (2003)

        Book Chapter

        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, forthcoming 2018).

        Book Review

        The Missing American Jury: Restoring the Fundamental Constitutional Role of the Criminal, Civil, and Grand Juries by Suja A. Thomas, 132 POL. SCI. Q. (forthcoming 2017).

        Non-Academic Publications

        Foster v. Chatman: An Egregious Batson Violation (and a SCOTUS Reversal) (May 24, 2016), available at https://casetext.com/posts/foster-v-chatman-an-egregious-batson-violation-and-a-scotus-reversal

        Should the Supreme Court Abolish Peremptory Strikes? (Oct. 30, 2015), available at https://casetext.com/posts/should-the-supreme-court-abolish-peremptory-strikes.

        Juries, Implicit Bias, and the Silencing of Criminal Defendants (Aug. 7, 2015), available at https://casetext.com/posts/juries-implicit-bias-and-the-silencing-of-criminal-defendants.

        Recent Activity

        Collateral Consequences: The Crossroads of Punishment, Redemption and the Effects on Communities

        May 10, 2017
        Professor Anna Roberts participated in a panel discussion on the collateral consequences of incarceration.

        Mayor Murray's Tactic of Attacking His Accusers Is Common, But Experts Say It Keeps Survivors of Sexual Abuse Quiet

        May 04, 2017
        Professor Anna Roberts shared her scholarship about how past convictions are used to disparage people in court.

        Reclaiming the Importance of the Defendant's Testimony

        March 06, 2017
        Professor Anna Roberts explains her recent scholarship on this podcast.

        Guiding Families to a Fair Day in Court

        May 29, 2015
        Research by Professor Anna Roberts on the problem of jury bias is cited in this article about the trend toward participatory defense.