Linda Dale Hoffa was born in 1954 in Camden, New Jersey. (Part One) She grew up in Burlington and Camden Counties, living primarily in Haddon Township. During her youth, she went to public schools and was involved in the Methodist Church in Westmont and athletics. In 1971, she lived in Holland as an exchange student with the American Field Service. From 1972 to 1976, she attended Rutgers College on the Presidential Scholarship. She discusses being in the first coed class at the college, living in various dorms on campus, being a preceptor during her sophomore year, transitioning to majoring in history, volunteering with Rutgers Community Action, completing a women's studies certificate, and working as a student representative on the University's implementation of Title IX. During her junior year, she studied abroad at the University of Glasgow. Following her studies, she traveled to Germany and South America and spent time in Haiti. After graduation from Rutgers College, she went to Rutgers Law School-Newark from 1976 to 1979. She became involved in the Women's Rights Litigation Clinic headed by Nadine Taub, working on a number of cases including the landmark case Tomkins v. Public Service Elec. & Gas Co (1977).

(Part Two) After law school, she clerked for the Honorable Dickinson R. Debevoise, who had just been appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. She then went into private practice and, in the oral history, examines experiences early in her career, including passing the bar exam in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, becoming a litigator, and handling trials at a time when there were few female lawyers in the courtroom. From 1984 to 2011, she served in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office (USOA) in Philadelphia, starting as Assistant U.S. Attorney. She discusses trying cases, being a working mother, and becoming Senior Litigation Counsel and the teaching that entailed in the Department of Justice (DOJ). (Read More)

(Parts Two and Three) She became the DOJ spokesperson for the prosecution of Timothy McVeigh, who was convicted of bombing the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. She served as Deputy Chief and Chief of the Criminal Division (USAO) and, from 2009 to 2011, as Senior Criminal Counsel for Senator Arlen Specter and U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. She also joined and later chaired the Criminal Chiefs Working Group at DOJ. She talks about the establishment of the federal reentry court program, which reintegrates high-risk probationers into the community.

(Part Three) She worked as Senior Executive Deputy Attorney General at the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office and then as Executive Deputy General Counsel for Criminal Justice at the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of General Counsel. She returned to private practice at Dilworth Paxson, where she is Partner and Chair of the White Collar/Government Investigations Practice Group. In the third interview session, she discusses the pandemic's effects on the law, teaching law classes at Temple Law School, Villanova Law School and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and changes in the law profession over the course of her career.

This interview is a part of the Pioneering Women of Rutgers College Project, an oral history project documenting the experiences of the first women to attend Rutgers College after it became coeducational in 1972. The project is a collaboration between the Rutgers Oral History Archives, Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences, and Institute for Women's Leadership.

The Rutgers Oral History Archives received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State. In the 2022-2023 cycle, this grant assisted the ROHA staff in making this oral history available to you for your use.