Robert H. Smith

Professor of Law

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Bar Admittance

  • IL
  • MA


University of Chicago Law School: Clinical Fellow, 1972-1975. Boston College Law School: Assistant/Associate/ Professor of Law, 1975-1999; Associate Dean, 1986-1990; Acting Dean 1990. Suffolk University Law School: Professor of Law, 1999 – present; Dean, 1999-2007.

Professional Activities

Volunteer Mediator, Framingham Court Mediation Services (FCMS) and Community Dispute Settlement Center (CDSC); Mediation Trainer, Newton North High School; Board of Directors: FCMS, Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, The Second Step.


Book Chapters

Chapter on Civil Procedure, in ANNUAL SURVEY OF MASSACHUSETTS LAW (1984)


Case Studies in Mediation (Co-authored with Dean Yongan Liao and Professor Benwu Qin, Xiangtan School of Law, China; published in Mandarin) (2014)

Affirmative Action Survives Fisher (Sort of), but What About Schuette?, Smith (2013)

Teaching Videos in Mediation Training, posted on Social Science Research Network: (2012)

The Librarian’s Risk of Irrelevance (in the Eyes of the Law School Dean), 95 LAW LIBR. J. 421 (2003)

Uncoupling the "centrist bloc"--An Empirical Analysis of the Thesis of a Dominant, Moderate Bloc on the United States Supreme Court, 62 TENN L. REV. 1 (1994)

Justice Souter Joins the Rehnquist Court: An Empirical Study of Supreme Court Voting patterns, 41 KANSAS L. REV. 11 (1992)

Pennhurst v. Halderman: The Eleventh Amendment, Erie and Pendent State Law Claims, 34 BUFFALO L. REV. 227 (1985)

Full Faith and Credit and Section 1983: A Reappraisal, 63 N.C.L. REV. 59 (1984)

Other Publications

Testing the Patterns, 1 33 BOSTON COLLEGE L AW SCHOOL ( 1993 )

Recent Presentations & Trainings

  • "Federal Preemption & State Regulation of Immigration" (Flashpoints in Federalism Panel, Advanced Legal Studies Program), February 17, 2012
  • "Reflections on Mediation Training in China" (Member of panel on Culture & Conflict, Community Dispute Settlement Center), April 10, 2012
  • "Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act" (Boston-Area Alumni Association of the University of Chicago), May 24, 2012
  • Mediation Trainer, Sino-American Mediation Training Conference (Xiangtan University Law School, Hunan Province, China), June 25-29, 2012
  • "Fisher v. University of Texas: The Supreme Court Revisits Affirmative Action" (Massachusetts Attorney General’s Institute), July 18, 2012
  • "Community Mediation" (Presentation to delegation of Chinese government officials and educators), September 10, 2012
  • "Same-Sex Marriage and the U.S. Supreme Court" (Suffolk University Law School Alumni Reunion Program), September 28, 2012
  • Mediation Trainer, Community Mediation Techniques, MetroWest Mediation Services, October 12, 2012
  • Moderator, Panel on "Mediation Practice" (U. Massachusetts/Boston Conference on Conflict Studies: The New Generation of Ideas), October 20, 2012
  • Mediation Trainer, Child Support Issues in Divorce Mediation (Community Dispute Settlement Center), April 30, 2013
  • "Will Affirmative Action Survive Fisher v. University of Texas and Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action?" (Presentation at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Institute), June 10, 2013
  • "Constitutional Law & the Supreme Court: A Review and a Preview" (Presentation to Annual Convention of Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers), October 18, 2013
  • Moderator, Panel on "Responding to Hate On the Internet: The Law and Its Limits" (Suffolk University Law School & Anti-Defamation League), November 4, 2013
  • Mediation Trainer, Child Support Issues in Divorce Mediation (Community Dispute Settlement Center), May 7, 2014


  • AB, Wesleyan University
  • JD, University of Chicago
Portrait of Robert Smith.

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Courses Taught

  • Constitutional Law
  • Mediation
  • Supreme Court Seminar
  • Clinical Teaching