Gary Smith Wins Loren Miller Legal Services Award
Gary F. Smith, Executive Director of Legal Services of Northern California who has frequently taught courses in public interest law and public benefits law at King Hall, has been awarded the 2010 Loren Miller Legal Services Award. The prestigious award, bestowed by the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California, honors Smith for his more than two decades of dedication to supplying legal services to low-income individuals.
Smith, who earned degrees in law and theology from Yale Law and Divinity Schools in 1983, clerked for Judge Raymond Broderick of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for two years, then worked from 1985-1988 as an attorney for a public interest law organization serving low-income Native Americans within the Navajo Nation. He joined LSNC as Managing Attorney of the organization's Yolo County Office, and rapidly assumed greater responsibilities within the organization, becoming Director of Litigation in 1994 and Executive Director in 1999.
Smith is also a member of numerous state and national public interest law organizations, and has taught public interest law and public benefits law at King Hall. In submitting a letter in support of Smith's nomination, Dean Kevin R. Johnson said Smith teaches these courses "because of his hope of influencing the future generation of public interest lawyers." Dean Johnson's letter describes Smith as "one of the most respected leaders of a legal services organization in the United States today."
"Legal Services of Northern California is perhaps the best run and most economically viable legal services organization in California, if not the entire country," wrote Dean Johnson. "Legal services agencies from across the United States look to LSNC as a role model of an effective advocacy organization. Gary's curriculum vitae includes a list of significant cases he has personally handled that have resulted in published decisions in the federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.... His entire career has been devoted to the development of services for the poor."