Terence W. Roberts Professor of Law (Ret.)
Professor Roberts was born and raised in Wisconsin, but left the cold winters for college and the sunshine of California. He received his B.A. degree from the University of the Pacific in 1966. After serving in the United States Army, he attended law school at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, receiving his J.D. degree in 1976.
Professor Roberts joined the faculty of McGeorge School of Law upon graduation and served in various positions, attaining the rank of Clinical Professor of Law in 1983. From 1977 until 1991 he was a clinical instructor in the Community Legal Services Center operated by the School of Law. This clinical program provided law students the opportunity to practice law under the supervision of an experienced faculty member. The services were provided free to qualified members of the community. From 1981 until 1991 Professor Roberts was Director of the Community Legal Service Clinic.
From 1991 until 1995, Professor Roberts practiced law in Orange County following his family’s relocation from Sacramento. His practice was limited to family law and probate matters. During this time he also was an Adjunct Professor of Law at Western State University College of Law, where he taught Community Property, Family Law and various legal skills courses. In 1995, Professor Roberts was appointed Director of the Clinical Program at Western State. This clinic operated on the law office model, and provided Western State students the opportunity to practice law under his supervision. The clinic was limited to family law and guardianship cases.
Professor Roberts also taught multiple courses at the law school, including Family Law, Community Property and various legal skills courses. In 2002,Professor Roberts resumed his position as Director of Clinical Programs at the School of Law when the clinic program was reinstituted. He continued in this capacity until his retirement in June 2011.
Over the course of his 34 year career in clinical legal education, Professor Roberts helped start the legal careers of over 1,000 students. Many of these students are now prominent in the legal profession in California and throughout the country. Upon his retirement, Professor Roberts undertook two major tasks. The first, with his wife, is raising his grandson, Jason, now three years old, who has been a blessing to his grandparents. The other is his law practice with Irwin & Irwin, limited to family law and probate appeals. His vast experience in the law through his academic career provides Professor Roberts with a unique perspective in advising clients whether to pursue appeals and, if so, following through with the intricacies that are part of an appellate practice.