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Paul M. Smith

Distinguished Visitor from Practice

Paul M. Smith is also the Vice President for Litigation and Strategy at the Campaign Legal Center. Until 2017 he was in private practice at...

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Paul M. Smith is also the Vice President for Litigation and Strategy at the Campaign Legal Center. Until 2017 he was in private practice at the firm of Jenner & Block LLP. He had an active appellate practice for several decades, including oral arguments in 21 Supreme Court cases in a wide range of cases but emphasizing civil rights and civil liberties issues.  Among his important victories have been Lawrence v. Texas, the landmark gay rights case, and Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Ass’n, establishing the First Amendment rights of those who produce and sell video games. Professor Smith also argued a long list of voting rights cases in the Supreme Court.  Just this Term he argued Gill v. Whitford, the partisan gerrymandering challenge out of Wisconsin, and Husted v. APRI, a challenge to Ohio’s practice of purging registered voters for not voting.

Chambers USA has repeatedly named Professor Smith one of the country’s leading lawyers in appellate litigation, media and entertainment law, and First Amendment litigation for multiple years. In 2010, The National Law Journal named him one of the "Decade's Most Influential Lawyers,” and the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice gave him its prestigious Thurgood Marshall Award for his work promoting civil rights and civil liberties. He has won similar awards from the American Constitutional Society, the DC Bar, the Legal Aid Society of DC, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, and the Human Rights Campaign. In 2015 Professor Smith received an honorary degree from his alma mater, Amherst College.  He is a member and former chair of the National Board of Directors of ACS, President of the D.C. Bar Foundation, a Trustee of Amherst College, and a board member of EPIC, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Castleton Festival.

Professor Smith attended Yale Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal, and then clerked for Judge James Oakes on the Second Circuit and Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr.

In the News

 "Supreme Court Prepares to Tackle February Term", coverage in Bloomberg, February 20, 2018, interviewing Professor Paul Smith. 

"The Right’s First Amendment Push," coverage by U.S. News & World Report, February 12, 2018, quoting Professor Distinguished Visitory from Practice Paul Smith.

"The Masterpiece Cakeshop Case Is Not About Religious Freedom," coverage by The New York Times, November 29, 2017, quoting Distinguished Visitor from Practice Paul Smith.

"Rappahannock lawyer to argue Supreme Court case on gerrymandering," coverage by Rappahannock News (Va.), July 16, 2017, featuring Distinguished Visitory from Practice Paul Smith.

"An Interview with Yale Law School’s First Female Dean," coverage by Bloomberg Law Big Law Business, February 22, 2017, mentioning Distinguished Visitor from Practice Paul Smith.

View all News

All News

 "Supreme Court Prepares to Tackle February Term", coverage in Bloomberg, February 20, 2018, interviewing Professor Paul Smith. 

"The Right’s First Amendment Push," coverage by U.S. News & World Report, February 12, 2018, quoting Professor Distinguished Visitory from Practice Paul Smith.

"The Masterpiece Cakeshop Case Is Not About Religious Freedom," coverage by The New York Times, November 29, 2017, quoting Distinguished Visitor from Practice Paul Smith.

"Rappahannock lawyer to argue Supreme Court case on gerrymandering," coverage by Rappahannock News (Va.), July 16, 2017, featuring Distinguished Visitory from Practice Paul Smith.

"An Interview with Yale Law School’s First Female Dean," coverage by Bloomberg Law Big Law Business, February 22, 2017, mentioning Distinguished Visitor from Practice Paul Smith.

"Comings & Goings," coverage by Washington Blade, January 20, 2017, featuing Distinguished Visitory from Practice Paul M. Smith.

"Jenner & Block Appellate Chief Leaves Big Law to Teach and Advocate for Voting Rights," coverage in The National Law Journal, January 9, 2017, featuring Distinguished Visitor from Practice Paul Smith.

"Wake Up Call: California Hires Holder to Fend Off Trump,"  coverage in Bloomberg Law, January 5, 2017, featuring Distinguished Visitor from Practice Paul Smith.

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