Jessica Smith joined the Institute of Government in 2000. Prior to that, she practiced law at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. She also clerked for U.S. District Judge W. Earl Britt in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina and for Senior U.S. Circuit Judge J. Dickson Phillips Jr. in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. At the School of Government, Smith teaches and consults with judges and other public employees involved in the criminal justice system. In 2006, she received the Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Term Professorship for Teaching Excellence. In 2013, she was named by the Chancellor as a W. R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor, one of the University’s highest academic honors. In 2015, Smith was appointed Reporter for the Criminal Investigation and Adjudication Committee of Chief Justice Mark Martin’s NC Commission on the Administration of Law & Justice, an independent, multidisciplinary commission that is undertaking a comprehensive evaluation of the NC judicial system and making recommendations for strengthening its courts. Smith earned a BA, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania and a JD, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was managing editor of the Law Review.