Paul Smith ’76, P’09, joined the board of trustees in 2016, with a term beginning July 1. He is a Distinguished Visiting Professor from Practice at Georgetown Law School and Vice President for Litigation and Strategy at the Campaign Legal Center, which seeks to protect voting rights, to defend reasonable campaign finance regulation, and the enforce government ethics rules. Before taking these positions in 2017, he practiced law at the firm of Jenner & Block LLP, where he became one of the most prominent Supreme Court advocates of his generation. He has handled many cases involving civil rights and civil liberties, notably in the areas of free speech, voting rights and gay rights. He has argued 19 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including the landmark gay-rights case Lawrence v. Texas and Brown v. EMA, which established the First Amendment rights of video game producers.
A political science major at Amherst, Smith graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa before earning his law degree at Yale. He began his career as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr.