Robin Steinberg

Lecturer in Law



Honored by the National Legal Aid and Defender Association for her “exceptional vision, devotion and service in the quest for equal justice”; by the New York Bar Association for her “outstanding contribution to the delivery of defense services”; and awarded Harvard Law School’s Wasserstein Fellowship in recognition of her “outstanding contributions and dedication to public interest law,” Robin Steinberg is a leader and a pioneer in the field of indigent defense. A 1982 graduate of New York University School of Law, Steinberg has been a public defender her entire career. Starting as a criminal trial lawyer with the Legal Aid of Society, continuing her career as a founding member and deputy director of The Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, and ultimately creating The Bronx Defenders in 1997, Steinberg has extensive experience in every aspect of public defense—from representing individual clients to creating a nonprofit organization.

Today, Steinberg advocates nationally and internationally for holistic representation and the community defender movement, delivering papers, conducting trainings, and hosting visitors from around the world. She currently serves on the boards of directors for the New York State Defender Associations, Roger Williams Law School, and the Journal of Court Innovation, as well as on the New York City Alternative to Incarceration Board and the Center for Court Innovation Internal Review Board. She is a frequent teacher of trial skills to law students and professionals, and a panelist and speaker about public defense management and holistic lawyering across the country and around the world. Steinberg is also the author of two articles: "Unprotected: HIV Prison Policy and the Deadly Politics of Denial"  (Harvard Journal of African-American Public Policy, 2005) and "Beyond Lawyering: How Holistic Lawyering Makes for Good Public Policy, Better Lawyers, and More Satisfied Clients" (NYU Journal of Law and Social Change, 2006).