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Meet the New St. John's Law Faculty Members

New St. John's Law faculty members Rachel Smith (left) and Kate Levine (right).
Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Furthering its commitment to offering students an outstanding legal education and to fostering significant legal scholarship, St. John’s Law welcomed two new faculty members this fall.

Kate Levine has joined the full-time faculty as assistant professor of law, bringing with her stellar academic credentials, noteworthy practice skills, and significant teaching experience. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Harvard College, Professor Levine earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she served as an editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review.

After law school, Professor Levine was a federal law clerk in the Southern District of New York, practiced law as a litigation associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, and then worked as an appellate public defender in New York. She started her career in academia as an acting assistant professor In NYU School of Law’s lawyering program, where she taught a 1L legal research, writing, and skills course.

During her time at NYU, Professor Levine also worked as a research fellow and organized programs on police transparency and civil access to justice. Her legal scholarship to date has focused on these same issues, and her writing on police suspects and prosecuting the police has gained recent placements in the Columbia Law Review, the Georgetown Law Journal, and the Iowa Law Review.  

“We’re so pleased that Kate has joined our faculty,” says Dean Michael A. Simons. “At a remarkably early point in her career, she’s already an accomplished scholar. She’ll bring that powerful combination of a scholar’s mind and a practitioner’s skillset to the classroom when she teaches criminal law this year, all to the benefit of our students.”

Rachel Smith is the newest member of the Law School’s legal writing faculty. She comes to St. John’s after spending six years at the University of Miami School of Law, where she was a member of the legal communications and research skills faculty.

A graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz and the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, Professor Smith started her legal career as a litigator at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. Moving to academia, she spent three years at Santa Clara University, where she taught legal analysis, research, and writing to 1Ls and appellate advocacy to 2Ls. She won the legal writing professor of the year award twice during her time at Santa Clara.  

Among other legal research and writing accomplishments of her own, Professor Smith has authored two books, The Legal Writing Survival Guide and The Handbook for the New Legal Writer (with Jill Barton). “Rachel brings a wealth of experience as a practitioner and a teacher.  She is a true expert in the teaching of legal writing,” Dean Simons says. “Whatever career path our students take, strong legal writing skills are a bedrock of their success. Our legal writing faculty does an excellent job of teaching these skills, and Rachel is a wonderful addition to that team.”