The Honorable Victoria Roberts ’76 to Deliver Northeastern Law Commencement Address


05.2.22 — The Honorable Victoria Roberts ’76, legal pioneer and senior US District Court judge for the Eastern District of Michigan, will deliver Northeastern University School of Law’s commencement address on Friday, May 20, 2022. The only Black woman to have served as president of the State Bar of Michigan, Roberts was commissioned by President Bill Clinton on June 29, 1998, to serve as a US District judge for the Eastern District of Michigan, with the unanimous advice and consent of the United States Senate. Prior to that, Roberts was in private practice and served as the managing partner of the Detroit law firm Goodman, Eden, Millender & Bedrosian. She also served as an assistant US attorney in the Eastern District of Michigan.

“We are thrilled that Judge Roberts will deliver the commencement address for the class of 2022,” said Dean James Hackney. “She has been a role model, colleague and friend to so many in our community. How fortunate we are that she will share her wisdom with us on this important occasion.”

Roberts, who assumed senior status on February 24, 2021, has maintained strong ties with Northeastern since graduation. A long-time co-op employer, she served as the keynote speaker for the School of Law’s Women in the Law conference in 2013 and spoke on a Judiciary Under Fire panel as part of Reunion and Alumni/ae Weekend in 2021. In March 2022, she led a program for Northeastern Law’s Black Law Student Association, Increasing the Diversity Pipeline to Judicial Clerkships, designed to familiarize traditionally underrepresented law students with post-graduate career opportunities in the judiciary, and to increase the number of Northeastern Law candidates from underrepresented groups who apply for and obtain judicial clerkships.

Roberts is the recipient of numerous awards, including the two highest conferred by the State Bar of Michigan: The Roberts P. Hudson Award and the Champion of Justice Award. In May, 2004, Roberts received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Northeastern University. She was named Michigan Lawyers Weekly “Woman of the Year” in 2013 and received the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation Dennis W. Archer Public Service Award in 2012. In 1997, she was named one of the Lawyers of the Year by the Michigan Lawyers Weekly. In 2020, the Wolverine Bar Association established the “Victoria A. Roberts Scholarship.”

For those family members and friends who are unable to attend #NUSL2022, the School of Law is pleased to offer a live video stream of the ceremony beginning at 3:00 PM on Friday, May 20, 2022.

About Northeastern University School of Law

The nation’s leader in experiential legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law offers the longest-running, most extensive experience-based legal education program in the country. Northeastern guarantees its students unparalleled practical legal work experiences through its signature Cooperative Legal Education Program. More than 1,000 employers worldwide in a wide range of legal, government, nonprofit and business organizations participate in the program. With a focus on social justice and innovation, Northeastern University School of Law blends theory and practice, providing students with a unique set of skills and experiences to successfully practice law.

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