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*The birth of Michele Roberts is celebrated on this date in 1956. She is a Black lawyer and administrator.
Michele A. Roberts grew up in a housing project in the South Bronx. She attended the master's school in Dobbs Ferry, NY. She earned her BA from Wesleyan University in 1977 and her JD from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law 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. Attorney Charles Ogletree mentored her. Roberts built her reputation as a trial lawyer. She worked for Akin Gump from 2004 to 2011. In 2011, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom hired her. Roberts is an adjunct faculty member at Harvard Law School and an American College of Trial Lawyers fellow. The Washingtonian once called her the "finest pure trial lawyer in Washington."
Roberts was named executive director of the National Basketball Players Association in July 2014. She succeeded Billy Hunter in the position. She received 32 of 36 votes. In 2014 she was named one of ESPNW's Impact 25. In 2020, Roberts announced plans to resign but later entered negotiations with NBA players and owners. These negotiations included the planning for the 2020 NBA Bubble, where play resumed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The negotiations also included efforts to promote racial justice, such as painting Black Lives Matter on NBA courts. In 2021, Sports Illustrated included Roberts' in "The Unrelenting," a feature on women in sports. Worth named her one of the "21 Most Powerful Women in the Business of Sports". That same year, Crain's New York included her on its "Notable Women in Law" list. Roberts retired as the NBPA executive director in January 2022.