Robin Steinberg

  • Lecturer

Robin Steinberg, a leader and a pioneer in the field of indigent defense, teaches Women in the Criminal Justice System at the Law School.

Since graduating from the New York University School of Law in 1982, Steinberg has spent her entire career as a public defender. In 1997, she founded The Bronx Defenders, where she and her team developed holistic defense – a client-centered model of public defense that uses interdisciplinary teams of advocates to address both the underlying causes and collateral consequences of criminal justice involvement.

In 2007, Steinberg co-founded The Bronx Freedom Fund, the first nonprofit charitable bail organization of its kind in the country. In 2016, she lead a team of lawyers and advocates to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where they founded "Still She Rises – Tulsa," the first public defender office in the nation dedicated exclusively to the defense of women in the criminal justice system. Steinberg has been honored by the National Legal Aid & Defender Association for her “exceptional vision, devotion and service in the quest for equal justice,” and by the New York Bar Association for her “outstanding contributions to the delivery of defense services.” 

Steinberg is the author of a number of articles, including: “Police Power and the Scaring of America: A Personal Journey” (Yale L. & Pol'y Rev., 2016); “Broken Windows Policing and Community Courts: An Unholy Alliance” (Cardozo L. Rev., 2016); “Heeding Gideon’s Call in the 21st Century: Holistic Defense and the New Public Defense Paradigm” (Wash. & Lee L. Rev., Summer 2013), "Beyond Lawyering: How Holistic Lawyering Makes for Good Public Policy, Better Lawyers, and More Satisfied Clients" (N.Y.U. J.L. & Soc. Change, 2006), "Unprotected: HIV Prison Policy and the Deadly Politics of Denial"  (Harv. J. Afr.-Am. Pub.  Pol'y, 2005), and “Cultural Revolution: Transforming the Public Defender Office” (N.Y.U. J.L. & Soc. Change, 2004). She is also the author of a chapter, “Fair Play,” in the book, "How Can You Represent Those People: Criminal Defense Stories," edited by Abbe Smith and Monroe Freedman.


  • J.D.
    New York University School of Law

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