Amanda Smith is a dedicated teacher. She works primarily with first-year students, equipping them with the skills that they will need to succeed in law school and practice. Her courses focus on how to read and analyze the law, research, cite legal authority, and communicate legal analysis orally and in writing. She strives to make her classes engaging and challenging.
Professor Smith also serves as the Director of the Academic Success Program. In this role, she assists students in enhancing their academic skills so they can reach their full potential. She works with students in various ways, including classes, workshops, and one-on-one meetings.
Professor Smith’s scholarship focuses on how best to prepare students to practice law. She authored an article, supported by a grant awarded by the Legal Writing Institute, exploring the pedagogical advantages of teaching judicial opinion writing in the first semester of law school. Her approach has been adopted into the law school’s Legal Methods program. In addition, Professor Smith shares teaching ideas at conferences across the country. She has presented on incorporating several innovative technologies and techniques into courses to enhance student learning.
Finally, Professor Smith has a heart for community service. She volunteers with Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, which offers support to law students, attorneys, and judges struggling with life’s challenges. She founded and leads two support groups in the Harrisburg area, one for divorced and separated individuals and the other for single parents.
BA, Grove City College, magna cum laude
JD, Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University, magna cum laude
Deputy Attorney General, Civil Litigation Division, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General
Law Clerk, Honorable Sandra Schultz Newman, Pennsylvania Supreme Court
Association of American Law Schools
Legal Writing Institute
May It Please the Court & Your Students: Using Animation and Speed Questioning to Prepare Students for Their First Oral Arguments, with Professor Dionne Anthon, Legal Writing Institute’s One-Day Conference on the Modern Legal Writing Classroom, Miami, FL (December 2014)
Judge for Yourself: Designing a Judicial Writing Course, with Professor Dionne Anthon, Legal Writing Institute’s Biennial Conference, Philadelphia, PA (July 2014)
Mission Impossible or Mission Accomplished? Our First Year Without the Traditional Office Memo, with Professors Dionne Anthon and Anna Hemingway, Legal Writing Institute’s One-Day Conference, Boston, MA (December 2013)
Everything Old is New Again: Student Journaling as Blogging, The Third Colonial Frontier Legal Writing Conference, Pittsburgh, PA (March 2013)
Keeping It Fresh: Using Technology in the Legal Writing Classroom to Reach Today’s Students, with Professors Dionne Anthon and Anna Hemingway, The Third Colonial Frontier Legal Writing Conference, Pittsburgh, PA (March 2013)
Preparing for Practice from Behind the Bench: Replacing the Traditional Office Memorandum with a Judicial Opinion, Legal Writing Institute’s One-Day Conference, Washington, D.C. (Nov. 2012)
Team-Based Learning, with Professors David Raeker-Jordan, Jennifer Lear, and Dionne Anthon, Legal Writing Institute’s One-Day Conference, Washington, D.C. (Nov. 2012)
Preparing for Practice from Behind the Bench: Replacing the Traditional Office Memorandum with a Judicial Opinion, Legal Writing Institute’s Biennial Conference, Desert Springs, CA (June 2012)