Erica Smock ‘95
Dean for Social Justice Initiatives & Public Service Lawyering
Erica Smock graduated from Columbia Law School in 1995. She began her career as a law clerk to Judge Anita B. Brody on the U.S. District Court, E.D. PA, and then clerked for Judge Leonard I. Garth on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit. After clerking, she spent a year as an associate at O’Melveny & Myers in San Francisco in the litigation department, where she engaged in pro bono work around women’s rights issues and domestic violence. She then worked as a staff attorney at Legal Aid Services of Oregon serving low income clients on a range of issues; and as Regional Staff Attorney at the Northwest Women's Law Center (now Legal Voice) in Seattle, where she led litigation and legislative efforts on a range of women’s issues including domestic violence, reproductive rights and employment discrimination. In 2002, she became Legislative Counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York City, where she directed the national state legislative program and engaged in advocacy on reproductive rights issues. In 2005, she joined Social Justice Initiatives at Columbia Law School as a Senior Career Advisor. In 2014, she returned to the Center for Reproductive Rights as a Senior Staff Attorney for Judicial Strategy, and then served as the Director of Judicial Strategy; and most recently as the Senior Director for Judicial Strategy & Lawyers Network where she helped lead the successful Supreme Court campaign in the 2016 abortion case, Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. She returned as Dean for Social Justice Initiatives in September 2017.
In addition, Erica has spent time as a short-term volunteer attorney focusing on human rights and women's rights in Kenya and South Africa, and with the Pascua Yaqui tribe in Arizona. She has served as a consultant to the Laura and John Arnold foundation on access to justice issues, and as a volunteer for Meals on Wheels. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the ABA's Rights of Women Committee in the Civil Rights and Social Justice Section; and on the Center for Reproductive Rights Lawyers Network Advisory Committee.
Read a welcome letter written by Dean Smock upon her assuming leadership of SJI in Fall 2017 or a profile of Erica written for the Law School website.
For advising appointments, please contact Dean Smock directly.