(GLC 111. Box 6)
Patti was born in Far Rockaway, Queens, New York, on November 13, 1946. She graduated from Brooklyn College in 1967 and went on to Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. She graduated from Boalt in 1970 with a J.D. degree and a desire to use her legal skills to help those traditionally without representation. That same year, she formed a collective Oakland household where she and others, including Stephen Bingham, lived. Roberts lived in the home for the next 41 years.
|Poster: San Francisco Neighborhood Legal Assistance Foundation|
(GLC 111. Map Folder 2)
Roberts began her career with the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) working on behalf of prisoners. She remained active with NLG, serving as president of the Bay Area chapter and on the local board. While continuing to do political work with the guild, Roberts began work as the head of the Women's Litigation Unit at San Francisco Neighborhood Legal Aid, representing poor women on a wide range of legal issues. Following her time at Legal Aid, Roberts founded and co-directed the Comparable Worth Project in Oakland, which pioneered much of the earliest legal work on the issue of pay inequity rooted in gender and race bias.
|Roberts' Reader and Resource Materials list (p.1)|
for Gay and Lesbian Issues in the Workplace course
(GLC 111. Box 3)
Roberts began private practice as an employment discrimination attorney in 1990 and also taught LGBT, legal, and labor studies at City College of San Francisco and San Francisco State University Extension. As a lawyer, her practice gravitated toward the defense of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights as well as women's and minority rights in the Bay Area. During her entire career, Roberts remained an outspoken advocate for feminist and LGBT rights. Patti Roberts died unexpectedly on January 7, 2011.
|Gay Rights Skills Seminar, 1979|
National Lawyers Guild (GLC 111. Box 7)
There are notes and speeches for Roberts' speaking engagements, and course readers and syllabi for the classes she taught on the law and labor, employment, and gay and lesbian issues. Roberts collected newspaper clippings and some legal documents on Stephen Bingham, George Jackson, and San Quentin Prison. There are also some materials on the East Bay Lesbian / Gay Democratic Club and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
|Assessment of the Lesbian and Gay Labor Movement,|
draft December 1991, p.1 (GLC 111. Box 3)
The Patti Roberts Papers (GLC 111) are available through the San Francisco History Center, 6th floor, Main Library. Photographs are available during Photo Desk hours.