Paul M. Smith, Legendary Supreme Court Litigator, Joins CLC


Smith Will Lead Groundbreaking Litigation to Advance Key Protections for Democracy  

 WASHINGTON – The Campaign Legal Center is extremely pleased to welcome to its staff one of the nation’s leading attorneys, Paul M. Smith, as vice president of litigation and strategy. Mr. Smith brings more than three decades of experience litigating a wide range of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including cases advancing free speech and civil rights. [Read full bio]

“The 2016 Election made it exceptionally clear: Our democracy is not working as it should,” said Trevor Potter, president of the Campaign Legal Center. “Currently, office holders are too responsive to special interests while legislators are manipulating voting maps to stay in power. At this crucial time in our nation’s history, CLC is committed to advancing legal strategies that will guarantee a democracy responsive to the people. There is absolutely no better person to lead this effort than Paul M. Smith.”

Mr. Smith will work directly with CLC’s talented team of campaign finance attorneys. CLC will be seeking a new director of trial litigation, to be hired in early 2017.

“I am thrilled to be joining the country’s top legal shop fighting for our democracy,” said Paul M. Smith, vice president of litigation and strategy at the Campaign Legal Center. “Now, more than ever, we must commit to ensuring that every American can participate in choosing our elected officials and holding those officials accountable once they are in office. I’m looking forward to getting to work.”

Mr. Smith, who has extensive experience in voting rights and redistricting, will also work side-by-side with long-time colleague and friend, Gerry Hebert, director of CLC’s voting rights and redistricting program. When CLC’s landmark partisan gerrymandering case, Whitford v. Gill, reaches the U.S. Supreme Court next term, as seems almost certain, Mr. Smith will present the oral argument.

Prior to joining CLC, Mr. Smith most recently served as a partner at the law firm Jenner & Block. In addition to his role at CLC, Mr. Smith will teach as a Distinguished Visitor from Practice at Georgetown University Law Center.   

“All of us at Jenner & Block will greatly miss Paul,” said Terrence J. Truax, Jenner & Block’s managing partner. “But we also are excited to see him begin the next chapter of a remarkable career, using his many talents at Georgetown Law School and the Campaign Legal Center on election law issues. Paul’s accomplishments are legendary, from his groundbreaking work in Lawrence v. Texas, to his more recent leadership on a range of issues focused on equal protection for all Americans. He is truly one of those larger-than-life individuals who has made a mark. We are proud to have been able to call Paul our partner, and he will always be a part of the Jenner & Block family, our tradition of excellence and commitment to pro bono and community service.”

 [Read Paul M. Smith’s full bio]