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Wm. Reece Smith Jr.: A Consummate Lawyer


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Professor William Reece Smith Jr. is a distinguished professorial lecturer at Stetson University College of Law.

Professor William Reece Smith Jr. is a distinguished professorial lecturer at Stetson University College of Law. Click for high-resolution image.

A Consummate Lawyer, a new biography by Stetson University College of Law Professor Emeritus Michael Swygert, chronicles the life of legendary Florida lawyer William Reece Smith Jr. from childhood to present-day, describing the character traits and talents needed to be a respected lawyer and community leader along the way.

The book details how Smith, now in his 60th year in the legal profession, continues to be a consummate lawyer, embodying the legal profession’s highest virtues and traditions of service. As former president of numerous organizations including Florida Legal Services Inc., the Hillsborough Bar, Florida Bar, American Bar and International Bar Associations, Smith has worked tirelessly to increase the legal services available to people who cannot afford them.

“By his conspicuous example, he has taught our profession that the practice of law is more than the billable hour, more than a means to wealth –it is a means of gaining great satisfaction is using the privilege we have to practice law to help those in need have access to the legal system,” said Sylvia Hardaway Walbolt, a colleague and attorney at Carlton Fields in Tampa, Fla.

 

 

 

Smith has engaged in both trial and appellate practice throughout his notable career, arguing cases at every level of the state and federal systems, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He has been city attorney of Tampa, chair and trustee of numerous colleges and universities, interim president of the University of South Florida, and board member of countless religious, charitable, civic and professional organizations throughout a lifetime of service to the community and to the legal profession. Smith remains a dedicated advocate and educator today, serving as a distinguished professorial lecturer at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, where he has taught courses for decades. His service to Stetson Law began in the 1950s.

To learn more about or to order A Consummate Lawyer, please visit Carolina Academic Press.