Bruce P. Smith
Guy Raymond Jones Faculty Scholar
Bruce Smith is dean of the University of Illinois College of Law and the Guy Raymond Jones Faculty Scholar. He became the 12th dean of the College in February 2009, having previously served as the College’s associate dean for Academic Affairs and, since 2001, as a member of its faculty. An accomplished legal historian who specializes in Anglo-American criminal procedure in the 18th and 19th centuries, Dean Smith is the author, most recently, of History of the Common Law: The Development of Anglo-American Legal Institutions (2009) (with John Langbein and Renée Lettow Lerner). He is currently completing a second book manuscript, entitled Summary Justice: Magistrates, Theft, and the Law in London and the Urban Atlantic World, 1760-1860.
Before entering law teaching, Dean Smith practiced law for five years at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., working primarily in the area of intellectual property litigation and sports law – in the latter capacity, representing the National Football League, National Basketball Association, and National Hockey League. He has taught as a visiting professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School and The George Washington University Law School, as an instructor at the University of Oxford and the University of Victoria, and as an invited lecturer at the University of Palermo in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2008, he was one of two recipients of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Campus Award for Graduate and Professional Teaching, which recognizes excellence in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching, and other contributions to improved instruction.
Dean Smith received his Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude with highest honors in history from Williams College and bachelor's and master's degrees in history from the University of Cambridge, which he attended as a Herchel Smith Fellow. He earned his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served as a senior editor on the Yale Law Journal, and his Ph.D. in history from the Yale Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, where he was a Mellon Fellow in the Humanities.
He is married to Elizabeth Robischon, a lawyer, and has two children: Charlotte and Fraser.