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View Catherine Smith’s lecture, State Action Punishing Children as “Evidence of Discrimination of an Unusual Character” Against Their Parents.


Catherine Smith is the Associate Dean of Institutional Diversity and Inclusiveness and Professor of Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. She is the recipient of the 2016 Clyde Ferguson Award, given by the American Association of Law Schools Minority Groups Section. The Ferguson Award recognizes an outstanding law teacher who has achieved excellence in the area of public service, teaching and scholarship.

Professor Smith teaches torts; employment discrimination; family law; and sexuality, gender and the law. She has been honored by students with the “Most Engaging Pro- fessor” and the “Most Outstanding Professor” awards.

Professor Smith’s scholarship is wide ranging, with articles on civil rights, critical race theory, implicit bias, the rights of children, and the drafting of the rst openly-gay football player in the NFL (co-authored with Su olk Professor Frank Cooper). She received two prestigious honors for her scholarship on the rights of children of gay and lesbian couples, and her co-authored amicus brief was cited by the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark decision on same-sex marriage.

After graduating from the University of South Carolina School of Law, Professor Smith clerked for the late Chief Judge Henry A. Politz of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and for U.S. Magistrate Judge William M. Catoe Jr. She then served as a legal fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Before joining the faculty at the University of Denver, Professor Smith was an assistant professor at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law from 2000 to 2004.