Michael T. Roberts teaches Food Law and Policy. He has a unique background in food law and policy that blends together academic and private practice. He is well versed in a broad range of legal and policy issues from farm to fork in local, national, and global food supply systems. He is a prolific author, having contributed to books and having written several articles on food regulation, trade, and policy issues. He is currently writing a treatise provisionally titled, The Oxford Commentaries on American Law: Food Law, to be published by Oxford University Press, Inc. He has guest lectured on food-law subjects at various law schools in the U.S., Europe, and Asia and speaks frequently at national and international conferences.
In 2000, much to the surprise of his partners and colleagues, Mr. Roberts left his law practice and enrolled in the LL.M. program on agricultural law at the University of Arkansas School of Law, the only such program in the U.S. Since then, Mr. Roberts has engaged in a variety of professional capacities related to food law and policy. A few years after completing the LL.M. program, he was invited to join the University of Arkansas School of Law as a Research Professor of Law and as the Director of the National Agricultural Law Center, where he taught food law and policy and founded the law school's Journal of Food Law and Policy. He is the former first chair of the Lex Mundi (world's largest association of private law firms) international Agribusiness practice group. He also was of counsel in Washington D.C. with Venable LLP, as a member of the firm's food and agricultural law practice group and a visiting scholar with and consultant to the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome.
Mr. Roberts currently is Director of the Center for Food Law and Policy (CFLP), a non-profit organization that advances thoughtful policymaking through innovative legal scholarship on food law and policy. He also serves as Special Counsel to the Roll Law Group LLP, a law firm that exclusively represents Roll Global Corporation, a private holding company headquartered in Los Angeles, and its farming and food companies who are global leaders in their respective product lines, employing more than 5,000 people world-wide. Mr. Roberts joined Roll in August 2008, where he is responsible for global food regulation, trade, and public policy. He has offices in Los Angeles and Washington D.C.
Mr. Roberts is a member of both the Steering Committee for the California Food Policy Council and the Los Angeles Food Policy Council. He also serves on the advisory board for the World Food Law Institute and is an expert panelist for Oxford Economics, Ltd., a publisher of Macro Trends Monitor for Food and Beverages. Mr. Roberts also serves as a Deputy Director of the FDA Research Center at East China University of Science and Technology in Shanghai, China where he lectures each year at the university's law school.
Mr. Roberts was raised in the food business - a small family farm, produce brokerage company, and other food entities. He enjoys reading the history of food, gardening, traveling, and spending time with family.