Paul M. Smith is also the Senior Vice President 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 Assn, 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.

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 Constitution Society, the DC Bar, the Legal Aid Society of DC, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Lambda Legal, and the Human Rights Campaign. In 2015 Professor Smith received an honorary degree from his alma mater, Amherst College. He is a Trustee of Amherst and member of the Board of Governors of the Folger Shakespeare Library, as well as the Board Chair of 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.


Selected Contributions to Other Publications

Paul M. Smith, The Supreme Court, Gerrymandering, and the Rule of Law, Hum. Rts., Jul. 26, 2023, at 8-9. [WWW] [W]
Paul M. Smith & Saurav Ghosh, Recent Changes in the Economics of Voting Caused by the Arrival of Super PACs, Hum. Rts., Oct. 24, 2022, at 9-10. [W]
Paul M. Smith, “Use It or Lose It”: The Problem of Purges from the Registration Rolls of Voters Who Don't Vote Regularly, Hum. Rts., Feb. 2020, at 6-7.
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U.S. Supreme Court Briefs

Brief of Amici Curiae Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and Seventeen Scholars and Technical Experts in Support of Respondents, Trump v. Vance, No. 19-635 (U.S. Mar. 4, 2020).

Congressional Testimony

Supreme Court Fact-Finding and the Distortion of American Democracy: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Fed. Cts., Oversight, Agency Action & Fed. Rts. of the S. Comm. on the Judiciary, 117th Cong., Apr. 27, 2021 (Statement of Paul M. Smith) (CIS-No. Pending).