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Rachel H. Smith

Assistant Professor of Legal Writing
B.A., University of California
J.D., University of California at Berkeley School of Law

Rachel H. Smith joined the law school faculty in 2016. She teaches Legal Writing.

Rachel is the author of two legal writing books: The Handbook for the New Legal Writer (with Jill Barton) and The Legal Writing Survival Guide. Both books aim to demystify the process of legal writing and serve as a source of encouragement for beginning and more experienced legal writers. Rachel has presented at national and regional legal writing conferences on topics including teaching with positivity, using popular non-fiction in the legal writing classroom, and the pedagogy of using examples. In 2009, Rachel received a grant from the Association of Legal Writing Directors to prepare a series of legal writing podcasts called “Perk Up Your Pens.”

Before coming to St. John’s, Rachel was a founding member of the Legal Communication and Research Skills faculty at the University of Miami School of Law. In addition to teaching the first-year legal writing course, she developed a popular course on Advanced Techniques in Written Persuasion. Before that, she was part of the Legal Analysis Research and Writing Faulty at Santa Clara University School of Law, where she was twice awarded the Legal Writing Teacher of the Year Award.

Rachel received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. After graduation, she worked as a litigator in the San Francisco office of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP where she worked on a variety of intellectual property disputes for toy, tech, and casino gaming companies.