St. Mary’s University School of Law has named Patricia Roberts as dean with her tenure set to begin on June 1, 2020.

Roberts is currently the vice dean of William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia. In that role, she has served as chief academic officer, responsible for academic programs and policies essential to legal education.

“I was drawn to St. Mary’s because of its Catholic and Marianist mission, and I look forward to enhancing the efforts of the St. Mary’s faculty and staff in their commitment to faith and social justice,” said Roberts, who was also named the Charles Cantú
Distinguished Professor of Law.

She has also served as the director of clinical programs, overseeing a center and nine legal clinics providing pro bono representation to underserved clients. William & Mary’s first in-house clinics, including those specializing in veterans’ benefits, elder law, special education, appellate and Supreme Court litigation, and coastal policy, were created during her tenure as director.

“Roberts’ leadership and teaching experiences, as well as her focus on professional responsibility, involve training ethical, competent, and compassionate lawyers and align with St. Mary’s mission in the Catholic and Marianist tradition,” said Thomas Mengler, St. Mary’s University president.

Roberts began adjunct teaching at William & Mary Law in 1997 and joined the administration in 2000. She became a clinical faculty member and director of clinical programs in 2008 and was named clinical professor of law in 2014.

A nationwide leader in legal efforts to aid veterans, Roberts was president of the National Law School Veterans Clinic Consortium. She created Military Mondays, a program that began at William & Mary Law that provides advice and counsel to veterans in Williamsburg and at other locations countrywide. Roberts was a commissioner on the American Bar Association Veterans Legal Services Initiative and served on the National Coordinating Committee of the ABA Military and Veteran Legal Services Network.

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