Amanda Smith
Associate Professor of Legal Methods
Director, Academic Support Program

B.A. Grove City College
J.D., Dickinson School of Law

Phone: 717.541.3946

Amanda L. Smith is an Associate Legal Methods Professor and the Director of Academic Support at the Harrisburg campus. She teaches Legal Methods, Judicial Opinion Writing, Advanced Appellate Advocacy, and Intensive Legal Analysis.

Professor Smith has a passion for teaching and equipping students to succeed. Her research focuses on how best to prepare students for law practice. In 2010, the Legal Writing Institute awarded her a 2010 scholarship grant to continue her research into the pedagogical advantages to teaching judicial opinion writing in law school. In addition, she has shared teaching ideas at numerous conferences across the country. Presently, she is pursuing her Masters in Education from Widener University.

Professor Smith is a member of the Legal Writing Institute and has served on several of its committees. She also leads a support group for single parents in the Harrisburg area. One of her favorite activities is dancing in the kitchen with her daughter.

Before joining Widener’s faculty, Professor Smith served as a law clerk to the Honorable Sandra Schultz Newman of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. She also practiced civil rights law as a Deputy Attorney General in the Civil Litigation division of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.

Professor Smith earned a B.A. in English, magna cum laude, from Grove City College and a J.D., magna cum laude, from the Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law. She was a member of the National Appellate Moot Court Team and served as a Case Note Editor for the Dickinson Law Review. While in law school, Professor Smith worked for the Honorable J. Andrew Smyser of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Selected Recent Publications

  • Preparing for Practice From Behind the Bench: Opinion Writing as the “Heart and Soul” of the First Semester of Legal Writing, 18 J. Legal Writing Inst. _____ (forthcoming Spring 2013)
  • Blogging: Reflection Spurs Students Forward, The Law Tchr., (Inst. For L. Sch. Teaching, Washburn and Gonz. U.) Spring 2013, at 19, available at
  • Why I Teach, The Law Tchr., (Inst. For L. Sch. Teaching, Washburn and Gonz. U.) Spring 2009, at 19, available at
  • Urinating on the Pennsylvania Constitution? Drug Testing of High School Athletes and Article I, Section 8 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, 104 Dick. L. Rev. 379 (2000).