Meet Jane Sullivan, the wife of Chief Justice for the past 18-years, John Roberts. Jane’s husband; now nine years into his lifelong tenure as the U.S. Supreme Court’s top judge, has successfully moved the court in a conservation direction.
Jane a lawyer by profession first met her husband –former law clerk for Judge Henry J. Friendly –in 1986, but didn’t start dating until 1991 and married in Washington in 1996. They both were 41 when they married so the couple adopted two children, John (Jack) and Josephine (Josie).
The eldest of four siblings, Jane Sullivan Roberts grew up in an Irish Catholic family of modest means in the Bronx during the 1950s. Her father was a mechanic at a post office, and her mother worked as an administrative assistant in a hospital.
Like her husband she also has enjoyed professional success. Mrs. Roberts received an A.B. magna cum laude from the College of the Holy Cross, a Dip. Ed. from the University of Melbourne, an M.Sc. from Brown University, and a J.D. cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center. But way before to all that she got her first job at 15, waitressing at an Ocean City, N.J., restaurant, and has worked almost continuously ever since.
Jane Sullivan Roberts is a Partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Major, Lindsey & Africa. Prior to joining MLA, Jane was the Executive Partner for Talent Development at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. Before assuming this role, she was a partner in the firm’s Global Technology Group focusing on IT sourcing and satellite system contracting. Jane also practiced litigation at Shaw Pittman and Dorsey & Whitney in a wide variety of matters before various courts and decision-making bodies. In 1992, Jane litigated before Australian courts with then Arthur Robinson & Hedderwicks, a leading law firm in Australia.
Jane also clerked for the Honorable James M. Sprouse, Federal Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, during the 1984-85 term. Before entering the legal profession, she taught mathematics at the high-school and college levels and was a Systems Engineer at Bell Laboratories.
A high-powered lawyer in her own right, she currently focuses on the representation of individual law firm partners and groups and senior government lawyers. She also conducts searches for senior in-house positions. Jane’s experience in a major law firm as both a practicing partner and the leader of the talent development program, both of which involved her in lateral partner recruiting and partner professional development, is an invaluable asset when counseling partners and partner groups. She combines her practical knowledge of the practice of law and the business of running a law firm with strategic, personal coaching skills, market information, and advice about the various alternatives available in the marketplace.
She loves to read and, in winter, plays tennis and ice hockey and, in summer, hikes, swims, and sails in Maine. She has traveled extensively throughout the world. She has represented some of the profession’s highest profile lawyers in moving from one law firm to another and from senior government positions to the private sector. She has also represented lawyer groups moving laterally to a new firm.
In 2012 the Huffpost wrote an article about her titled “Jane Roberts, Breaks The Mold Of Supreme Court Wives” you can read more here.