Florence Wagman Roisman earned her B.A., 1959, University of Connecticut (High Honors, Distinction in English and in History, Phi Beta Kappa) and her LL.B., 1963, Harvard Law School (cum laude). She began practice at the Federal Trade Commission in 1963. In 1964, she joined the U.S. Department of Justice in the appellate section of the Civil Division. In 1967, she became staff attorney, and later managing attorney, for the D.C. Neighborhood Legal Services Program (NLSP), initiating a 30-year association with the federally financed program of civil legal assistance to poor people. While at NLSP, she was co-counsel in several of the landlord-tenant cases that now appear in many property casebooks. Subsequent to her tenure with NLSP, she worked with the legal services program both in private practice and through the National Housing Law Project.
In 2000, she received the Thurgood Marshall Award given by the District of Columbia Bar. In 1989, she was the first recipient of the Kutak-Dodds Prize, awarded by the ABA's Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association.
She has taught full-time at Georgetown University Law Center and the law schools of the University of Maryland, Catholic University, and Widener University; she has taught part-time at the George Washington University National Law Center and the Antioch School of Law. In addition to Property and Land Use Planning, she has taught Civil Procedure and Administrative Law. In 2002, she received a Trustee's Teaching Award from Indiana University.
The substantive focus of her practice, teaching, and writing has been on low-income housing, homelessness, and housing discrimination and segregation.
Professor Roisman received the 2004 Equal Justice Works Outstanding Law School Faculty Award "for her dogged pursuit of equal justice and her pivotal role in nurturing a public interest ethic among law students."