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Craig T. Smith

Assistant Dean for Legal Writing and Academic Excellence and Clinical Professor of Law


  • LL.M. (magna cum laude), Universitäet Potsdam (Germany) (1995)
  • J.D. (cum laude), University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (1991)
  • B.A., Government (Phi Beta Kappa), College of William and Mary (1985)

Craig T. Smith serves as Assistant Dean for Legal Writing and Academic Excellence, directing and teaching in the School of Law’s Writing and Learning Resources Center. The Center operates the Research, Reasoning, Writing, and Advocacy (RRWA) Program. The RRWA Program serves all first-year students plus a select group of third-year students, called Honors Writing Scholars. They receive training, and then they mentor and advise first-years students. The Center also operates an Academic Excellence Program, which serves students at all levels through courses, workshops, peer tutoring, and individual consultations.

Professor Smith taught previously at Pennsylvania State University’s Dickinson School of Law and at Vanderbilt University Law School, where he served as Associate Professor and Director of Legal Writing. Before teaching he clerked for U.S. District Judge James Carr, worked as an associate at Pierce Atwood in Portland, Maine, and served as a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow with Germany’s Federal Justice Ministry and various courts.

He is a well-known conference speaker and scholar on legal writing. He has served as president and board member of the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD), a member of the editorial board of the Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, a presenter at the Association of American Law Schools’ Workshop for Beginning Legal Writing Teachers, and an editorial board member for Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing.

Professor Smith also has worked extensively within the ABA and internationally. With the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, he has served on the Curriculum Committee, the Communication Skills Committee, and on many accreditation site visit teams, two of which he has chaired. He also has offered advice on skills education abroad through the ABA’s Rule of Law Initiative. Professor Smith has taught international LL.M. students, developed and offered a course on European Union law, and lectured or taught at various universities in Germany. He also has published articles and translations regarding German law and has served on the editorial board of the German Law Journal.

Curriculum Vitae PDF

Selected Publications

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  • Readying Ourselves to Provide Effective, Timely Feedback, SECOND DRAFT: BULL. OF THE LEGAL WRITING INST. August 2007, at 13. [Document Link]
  • Minds and Levers: Reflections on Howard Gardner's Changing Minds, 14 PERSP.: TEACHING LEGAL RES. & WRITING 116 (2006). [Westlaw]
  • Report: Bundesverwaltungsgericht (Federal Administrative Court), in 2-3 ANNUAL OF GERMAN & EUROPEAN LAW (R. Miller & P. Zumbansen eds., 2006). [K1 .N527]
  • Constitutional Drift: Toward the End of Federal Shop-Closing (Ladenschluss) Regulation, 5 GERMAN L.J. 1031 (Sept. 1, 2004). [Hein, Document Link]
  • The Uncertain Limits of the European Court of Justice's Authority: Economic Freedom Versus Human Dignity (with T. Fetzer), 10 COLUM. J. OF EUR. L. 445 (2004). [Westlaw, Hein]
  • More Disagreement Over Human Dignity: The Federal Constitutional Court's Most Recent Benetton Advertising Decision, 4 GERMAN L.J. 533 (June 1, 2003). [Hein, Document Link]
  • Teaching Students How to Learn in Your Course: The Learning-Centered Course Manual, 12 PERSP.: TEACHING LEGAL RES. & WRITING 1 (2003). [Westlaw]
  • Synergy and Synthesis: Teaming Socratic Method with Computers and Data Projectors to Teach Synthesis, 7 LEGAL WRITING 113 (2001). [Lexis/Nexis, Hein]
  • Teaching Synthesis in High-Tech Classrooms: Using Sophisticated Visual Tools Alongside Socratic Dialogue to Help Guide Students Through the Labyrinth, 9 PERSP.: TEACHING LEGAL RESEARCH & WRITING 110 (2001). [Westlaw]
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