California Western School Of Law building background

Steven R. Smith

Professor of Law Emeritus
Dean Emeritus

Faculty Emeriti


During his tenure as Dean from 1996 to 2012, California Western evolved into one of the most forward thinking and dynamic independent law schools in the nation. Smith helped raise California Western’s national profile via deep involvement with the ABA; oversaw remodeling of the classroom building and construction of the new library; developed dual programs with SDSU and UC San Diego; and helped create the Kennedy Scholars program. Dean Smith served as Deputy Director of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in 1987-88. He remains active in AALS and in the work of the American Bar Association, where he served as vice chair and chair of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar from 2003-2006.

  • JD University of Iowa [high distinction, Order of the Coif]
  • MA University of Iowa [economics]
  • BA Buena Vista College [summa cum laude]


  • David L. Shapiro & Steven R. Smith, Malpractice in Psychology: A Practical Resource for Clinicians (American Psychological Association 2011).


  • Steven R. Smith, Legal and Confidentiality Issues in Treating Minors, in Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology 335 (Joseph Sanfilippo, Eduardo Lara-Torre, D. Keith Edmonds & ClaireTempleman eds., 2008).


  • Joseph S. Sanfilippo, Steven R. Smith & Shirley M. Pruitt, Could Thorough Documentation Have Changed the Outcome of this Trial?, OBG Mgmt., August 2014, at 45.
  • Steven R. Smith, Financing the Future of Legal Education: "Not What It Used to Be,” 2012 Mich. St. L. Rev. 579 (2012).
  • Steven R. Smith, The Supreme Court and the Future of Healthcare Reform, 38 Register Report 20 (2012).
  • Steven R. Smith, Neuroscience, Ethics and Legal Responsibility: The Problem of the Insanity Defense, 18 Science and Engineering Ethics 475 (2012).
  • Steven R. Smith, Mental Health and Medical Rights: The Supreme Court of the United States in 2010-2011, 37 Register Report 34 (2011).
  • Steven R. Smith, Life, Death, or Miranda: The Supreme Court Term 2009-2010, 36 Register Report 28 (2010).
  • Steven R. Smith, From Expert Witnesses to ‘Fleeting Expletives’: The Supreme Court 2008-2009, Register Report (2009).
  • Steven R. Smith, Gresham’s Law in Legal Education, 17 J. Contemp. Legal Issues 171 (2008).
  • Steven R. Smith, Limiting Execution of the Mentally Ill: Highlights of the 2006-2007 Term of the Supreme Court, 33 Register Report 10 (2007).

Columns and the like (a partial list)

  • Steven R. Smith & Joseph C. Sanfilippo, Applied Ethics for the Physician, in MBA for Healthcare Professionals (Joseph Sanfilippo et al. eds.) (forthcoming).
  • Steven R. Smith & Joseph C. Sanfilippo, Business Law for Health Care Professionals, in MBA for Healthcare Professionals (Joseph Sanfilippo et al. eds.) (forthcoming).
  • Steven R. Smith & Joseph C. Sanfilippo, Risk Management in Health Care, in MBA for Healthcare Professionals (Joseph Sanfilippo et al. eds.) (forthcoming).
  • Steven R. Smith, The Carrot and the Stick, The Scrivener 1 (2012).
  • Steven R. Smith, Years of Leadership: Scribes Presidents, The Scrivener 1 (2011).
  • Steven R. Smith, When Enough is Enough, The Scrivener 1 (2011).
  • Steven R. Smith, Good Writing Gets Us Closer to Real Justice, The Scrivener 1 (2011).
  • Steven R. Smith, Being Optimistic About Legal Writing, The Scrivener 1 (2010).