Emerita Professor of Law
“Who speaks for the environment, nature, or all living creatures? Lawyers do. Lawyers who use the law as an instrument to develop public policy and to create social change. An environmental lawyer can take complex scientific information and litigation practices to create a voice for the environment and living creatures.”
B.A., University of Minnesota
J.D., University of Minnesota Law School
Professor Marilynne Roberts was named emeritus professor in February 2012. She brought current issues to her classes in environmental law and ecology, law of air and water quality, and lawyering skills. Roberts has taught many of Hamline Law’s dispute resolution courses, including courses in mediation, negotiation, arbitration, and dispute resolution practices. She has also taught Torts I and II. Her current research interest is dispute resolution for animal law. In 2009, she taught a course in animal law.
Before joining the faculty, Roberts was assistant director of the University of Minnesota Student Legal Service, and she practiced law in the areas of corporate, tax and labor law. Roberts serves as a mediator, arbitrator, and hearing review officer for the Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning. She has served as a hearing examiner for a federal court Consent Decree race discrimination case and as a referee for the Dalkon Shield Claimants Trust.
Roberts serves on Hamline University’s Standing Committee on Learning Outcomes Assessment. In fall 2009, she gave a presentation to a national law teacher’s conference on learning outcomes in legal education with Professors Sharon Sandeen and Tom Romero.
Roberts has published and lectured frequently on acid rain and other environmental issues. In 1986, she represented a coalition of environmental groups in litigating the first acid deposition standard in the United States. She has served as chair of the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness and the Minnesota State Bar Association Committee of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar. She served on the governing council of the MSBA Animal Law Section, supporting creation of that section and the American Bar Association Animal Law Committee of the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section.
- Honored with the Lion Pride Award by The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, Minn., for contributions supporting the cats and helping the sanctuary grow. She has donated to the sanctuary since 2000 and, one week after retiring in 2011, she was trained as a volunteer.