The Honorable D. Brooks Smith to deliver commencement address for Penn State Law

The Honorable D. Brooks Smith, a 1976 graduate of The Dickinson School of Law, will be the featured speaker at the Law School's commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 11, at 10:30 a.m. in University Park, Pa. 

Smith is a member of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, having been nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate on July 31, 2002. In addition to his service on the federal bench, Judge Smith is an adjunct professor at the Law School and teaches Class Actions and Complex Litigation. 

Commencement ceremonies will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 11, in University Park and Carlisle, Pa., simultaneously. The two locations will be inter-connected by high definition audiovisual telecommunications to enable audiences at each campus to see and hear the entire event in “real time.” Following the ceremony, there will be a reception for graduates, their families and guests.

Prior to his appointment to the United States Court of Appeals, Smith served on the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania from 1988 until his confirmation in 2002, serving as the Chief Judge from 2001 until his elevation to the Third Circuit. 

After graduating from The Dickinson School of Law in 1976, he began his legal career in Altoona, Pa., becoming the managing partner of the firm of Jubelirer, Carothers, Krier, Halpern & Smith in 1981. From 1983 to 1984, he served as Blair County District Attorney. In December 1984, Governor Dick Thornburgh appointed him to the Court of Common Pleas of Blair County. The following year, Smith was elected to a full 10-year term as judge.

Judge Smith is a member of the American Law Institute, the Federal Judges Association, and the American Judicature Society. He served on the Criminal Rules Advisory Committee of the United States Judicial Conference from 1993 to 1999. In 2006, Chief Justice John Roberts appointed Judge Smith to another Judicial Conference Committee, the Committee on Space and Facilities.

Smith also has assisted in efforts to enhance the rule of law in the judicial systems of Central and Eastern Europe. He has taught in judicial training sessions in Russia for the Department of State and with the American Bar Association’s Central and Eastern European Legal Initiative; in Bulgaria, Latvia and Albania with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); in Kosovo with the International Development Law Organization; and in Bosnia and Macedonia with the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training. In 2007, he assisted USAID with an assessment of the legal system in the Republic of the Philippines as part of that Agency’s Commercial Law and Institutional Reform initiative.

More information about commencement ceremonies can be found online

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Last Updated April 23, 2013