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Peter J. Smith, J.D.

Professors
Harvard Law School
The George Washington University Law School
Professor

Peter J. Smith, J.D.

Whether you realize it or not, we think about the substantive law all the time in our daily lives. Every time we get behind the wheel of a car, or go outside to shovel snow from the sidewalk in front of our house, or decide whether to look at a text message while we’re driving, we’re thinking about the obligations we have to avoid causing injuries to others.

Peter J. Smith is the Arthur Selwyn Miller Research Professor of Law at The George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. He received his B.A. (magna cum laude) from Yale University and his J.D. (magna cum laude) from Harvard Law School, where he received the Sears Prize for highest academic performance. Before joining the faculty at GW Law, Professor Smith was an attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he represented the government in the U.S. Courts of Appeals. At the Department of Justice, he defended the constitutionality of a number of federal statutes, including the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act (cases ultimately resolved by the Supreme Court). Before he worked at the Department of Justice, Professor Smith clerked for Judge Phyllis A. Kravitch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Professor Smith has twice received the Distinguished Faculty Service Award for outstanding teaching at GW Law. He has published dozens of scholarly articles and is the co-author of a popular casebook on constitutional law, Constitutional Law: A Contemporary Approach. His research focuses on constitutional law, constitutional interpretation, and civil procedure.