Professor Patricia Roberts J.D. ’92 has been inducted into the Virginia Law Foundation’s (VLF) 2016 Class of Fellows.
Each year the VLF recognizes a group of Virginia lawyers, law professors, and retired judges for their legal excellence and community involvement. Fellows are nominated confidentially by their peers, and join a cadre that represents one percent of Virginia’s legal professionals.
Roberts directs William & Mary Law School’s Lewis B. Puller, Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic, which she helped create and support since its inception in 2008. She is the previous director of the Special Education Advocacy Clinic and founder of William & Mary’s Institute of Special Education Advocacy.
As Director of Clinical Programs, Roberts manages eight clinics and one center. She is an appointed member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Clinical Legal Education Committee and serves as a Vice Chair of the Military & Veterans Health Law Task Force of the Health Law Section of the American Bar Association
Roberts practiced law for eight years as a sole practitioner and later as managing partner of a civil practice law firm.
In coordination with Starbucks’ Armed Forces Network, Roberts recently helped create Military Mondays, a program in which Puller Clinic representatives dispense free advice and counsel for veterans at a Williamsburg Starbucks. The program recently won the Brown Select Award from the ABA’s Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services for its innovation and opportunities for replication, which have started in Orange County, California and Washington, D.C.
Roberts is also responsible for helping other law schools across the country adopt the Puller Clinic model in support of veterans, and engages in writing, speaking and training in the area of veterans’ law.
“It comes as no surprise that the Virginia Law Foundation is celebrating Patty’s work with veterans, William & Mary’s clinical program, and wide-ranging service to the bar,” said Jayne Barnard, James Cutler Professor of Law, Emerita at William & Mary. “What she has been able to achieve is awe inspiring, and the range of people she has been able to help is immense. She is one of our Law School’s most valuable players.”
Roberts was inducted at a dinner ceremony held during The Virginia Bar Association’s Annual Meeting in Colonial Williamsburg on January 21. Joining Roberts in the Class of 2016 are fellow William & Mary Law School graduates David G. Altizer J.D. ’75, Larry W. Davis J.D. ’79, and The Hon. Thomas D. Horne J.D. ’69.
“The Fellows are chosen after a rigorous vetting process,” said Irv Blank, President of the VLF. “They are asked to contribute not only financially, but also their talents as well. They have responded magnificently on both counts. We look forward to the Fellows Class of 2016 making its mark.”
Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America's oldest law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.