Paul M. Smith is Chair of the Appellate and Supreme Court Practice and Co-Chair of the Media and First Amendment, and Election Law and Redistricting Practices. He has had an active Supreme Court practice for nearly three decades, including oral arguments in 14 Supreme Court cases involving matters ranging from free speech and civil rights to civil procedure. Among his important victories has been Lawrence v. Texas, the landmark gay rights case, and the recent Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Ass’n, establishing the First
Amendment rights of those who produce and sell video games.
Chambers USA has repeatedly named Mr. Smith one of the country’s leading lawyers in the areas of Appellate Litigation, Media & Entertainment Law, and First Amendment Litigation for multiple years. In 2010, Washingtonian magazine recognized him as one of "Washington's Top Lawyers,” Washington DC Super Lawyer named him one of the “Top 10 Lawyers in D.C.” and The National Law Journal named him one of the "Decade's Most Influential Lawyers.” Best Lawyers named him the Washington DC First Amendment lawyer of the year for 2012. Mr. Smith was also awarded the Thurgood Marshall Award from the American Bar Association Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities for his work promoting civil rights and civil liberties. He is AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer recognition for ethical standards and legal ability.
Mr. Smith is a member of the Firm's Content, Media & Entertainment Practice and serves on the Policy Committee. In 2011, the members of the District of Columbia Bar elected him to the American Bar Association House of Delegates for a two-year term. He was a member of the D.C. Bar Board of Governors from 2002-2008. He has also served as a board member and Chair of the National Board of Directors of The American Constitution Society. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Lambda Legal and previously was Co-chair of that
organization. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.
- Yale Law School, J.D., 1979; Editorin-Chief, Yale Law Journal
- Amherst College, B.A., 1976; summa cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa