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Michele A. Roberts

Michele A. Roberts (born 1956) is the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association. She is the first woman to hold that position and the first woman to head a major professional sports union in North America. Previously she was an attorney with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.[1]

Early lifeEdit

Roberts grew up in a housing project in the South Bronx.[1] She attended The Masters School, a school in Dobbs Ferry, NY. She earned her B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1977 and her J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley in 1980.


Roberts began her career in 1980 at Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. She served in that role for eight years, rising to the chief of the trial division. She was mentored by attorney Charles Ogletree.[2][3]

Roberts built her reputation as a trial lawyer. She worked for Akin Gump from 2004 to 2011. In 2011 she was hired by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.[4]

Roberts was named executive director of the National Basketball Players Association in July 2014.[1] She succeeded Billy Hunter in the position. She received 32 of 36 votes.

In 2014 she was named one of ESPNW's Impact 25.[5]

Roberts is an adjunct faculty member at Harvard Law School and a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. The Washingtonian once referred to her as the "finest pure trial lawyer in Washington."[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Gregory, Sean (July 30, 2014). "Meet the First Woman to Run a Major U.S. Pro Sports Union". Time.
  2. ^ Roberts, Michele (2006). "Tree" (PDF). Harvard BlackLetter Law Journal.
  3. ^ "NBA Players Union Elects Michele Roberts as New Executive Director". Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. AP. July 29, 2014.
  4. ^ Lat, David (March 23, 2011). "Musical Chairs: Leading Litigatrix Leaves Akin for Skadden". Above the Law.
  5. ^ "2014 espnW Impact 25". espnW. Retrieved 2018-04-08.