Dorothy Roberts

Dorothy Roberts is a professor at Northwestern University School of Law, with joint appointments as a faculty affiliate in the Department of Sociology, a faculty fellow of the Institute for Policy Research, and a faculty affiliate of the Joint Center for Poverty Research. She was named Class of 1940 Research Professor for 1999-2000.

Prof. Roberts received her B.A. from Yale College and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. Professor Roberts has written and lectured extensively on the interplay of gender, race, and class in legal issues concerning reproduction and motherhood.

She is the author of Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (Basic Civitas Books, 2002) and Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (Pantheon, 1997), which received a 1998 Myers Center Award for the Study of Human Rights in North America, as well as the co-author of casebooks on constitutional law and women and the law.

Prof. Roberts has published more than fifty articles and essays in books, scholarly journals, newspapers, and magazines, including Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal, University of Chicago Law Review, Social Text, and The New York Times. Her influential article, “Punishing Drug Addicts Who Have Babies: Women of Color, Equality, and the Right of Privacy” (Harvard Law Review, 1991), has been widely cited and is included in a number of anthologies.

Professor Roberts has been a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford, and a fellow at Harvard University’s Program in Ethics and the Professions. She serves as a consultant to the Center for Women Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., and as a member of the board of directors of the Public Interest Law Center of New Jersey and the National Black Women’s Health Project.

She has delivered several endowed lectures, including the James Thomas Lecture at Yale Law School. She was elected twice by the Rutgers School of Law graduating class to be faculty graduation speaker, and was voted outstanding first-year course professor by the Northwestern School of Law class of 2000. She received the Radcliffe Graduate Society Medal in June, 1998. Her current projects concern race and child welfare policy.