About Hannah

From a young age, Hannah Smith demonstrated a passion for education that would take her to Princeton as a student and teacher, to the Supreme Court as a religious liberty attorney, and ultimately to her beloved home in Southlake as an advocate for our schools.

 

Hannah focused on education policy and the Teacher Preparation Program to earn her degree from Princeton University and its School of Public and International Affairs. She earned her law degree at BYU.

Hannah spent the next two decades involved in high-profile litigation at top law firms and at the U.S. Supreme Court. She worked directly for Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito and later advocated successfully for religious liberty in state and federal courts, including four landmark victories at the U.S. Supreme Court. She has served as a legal spokeswoman on major news outlets; authored opinion pieces and articles on legal and religious liberty subjects; briefed policymakers at the White House, U.S. Capitol, and State Department; and provided expert testimony in support of Justice Neil Gorsuch's confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.

While Hannah wasn’t born in Texas, she got here as fast as she could. Hannah and her family have been proud residents of north Texas for seven years. In Southlake, Hannah has served our school, city, church, and Metroplex communities. She has volunteered for the CISD School Board Budget and Finance Committee, the CISD School Board Student Health Advisory Committee, the new CISD superintendent focus group, and as a youth leader at her church. She is a member of the Southlake Executive Forum and Southlake Executive Women. She also proudly serves as a Board Member for both the DFW Alliance for Religious Freedom and the Religious Freedom Institute.

In recognition of her hard work and legal victories, Hannah received BYU's Alumni Achievement Award, the JRCLS's Women-in-Law Leadership Award, and the Center for Constitutional Studies' James Madison Award.

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Through the seasons of her professional life, Hannah has always cherished her role as wife and mother. Over the 23 years of their marriage, Hannah has encouraged her husband John as he supported our nation's defense--at the Bush White House, in the U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard, and as an executive in the aerospace and defense industry. Hannah and John are the parents of four Dragons who attend elementary, intermediate, middle, and high schools in CISD, the youngest of which will graduate in 2032. So, Hannah is passionate about helping our teachers to give our children the best education possible.

Awards & Recognitions

  • James Madison Award, Center for Constitutional Studies, 2018

  • J. Reuben Clark Law Society Women-in-Law Leadership Award, 2016

  • Brigham Young University Alumni Achievement Award, 2013

  • Law Faculty Award for Meritorious Achievement and Distinguished Service, 2000

  • J. Reuben Clark Award (selected by faculty for academics, character, and service), 1999

Leadership & Community Involvement

  • CISD School Board Budget and Finance Committee

  • CISD School Board Student Health Advisory Committee

  • CISD Parent Teacher Organization volunteer

  • CISD Substitute teacher

  • Member of CISD Booster for Special Programs

  • Member of CISD Advanced Placement Booster Club

  • Member of Southlake Association for the Gifted and Talented

  • Carroll Education Foundation Contributor

  • Vice President for Membership, Parents Guild of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra

  • Leader for young women’s church group

  • Member of Southlake Women’s Club

  • Member of Southlake Executive Forum

  • Member of Southlake Executive Women

  • Board member, DFW Alliance for Religious Freedom

  • Board member, Religious Freedom Institute

  • Senior Fellow, International Center for Law and Religion Studies

  • Board of Advisers, Brigham Young University Law School

  • Board Member and Committee Chair, JRCLS International Board

  • Board Member, Deseret News Editorial Advisory Board

Professional Experiences

  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court, Washington, D.C.

  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court, Washington, D.C.

  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Samuel A. Alito, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Newark, NJ

  • Schaerr Jaffe LLP, Washington D.C.

  • The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Washington D.C.

  • Williams & Connolly, Washington, D.C.

  • Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood, Washington, D.C.

  • Speeches:

    • Academic Institutions: American University Law School, Brigham Young University, Central European University, Columbia Law School, Harvard Law School, Princeton University, Santa Clara University, Southern Methodist University Law School, Stanford Law School, University of Pennsylvania Law School, University of San Diego, Wayne State Law School.

    • Other: White House, Department of Justice, U.S. Capitol, Senate Judiciary Committee, House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, State Department, American Bar Association, D.C. Bar Association, National Constitution Center, Newseum, SCOTUSblog, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Federalist Society, Heritage Foundation, and Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute.

 

  • Media:

    • Television & Radio Appearances: CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR, BBC, C-Span, The O’Reilly Factor, The Sean Hannity Show, America’s Newsroom, Fox & Friends, Wall Street Journal Live, EWTN, Rush Limbaugh Show, Hugh Hewitt Show, Laura Ingraham Show, Dennis Miller Show, Lou Dobbs Show, and Mike Gallagher Show.

    • Print Interviews: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Times, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, Reuters, National Review Online, Bloomberg BNA, The Daily Beast, The Daily Caller, Christian Post, National Catholic Register, and Princeton Alumni Weekly

  • Articles, Op-Eds, Blog Posts:

    • U.S. News & World Report, National Review Online, Fox News Opinion, SCOTUSblog, Heritage Foundation Insider Online, and Deseret News.