Catherine Elizabeth Smith

Professor; Professor of Children's Consti; Director of the Children's Con; Chair-Chauncy Wilson Mem Rsrch

Associate Dean of Institutional Diversity & Inclusiveness

  • Faculty


Workplace Law, Torts, Employment and Labor Law

Professional Biography

Catherine Smith joined the faculty at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2004. 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.

Professor Smith teaches torts, employment discrimination, family law, and sexuality, gender and the law. Her research interests include civil rights law and critical race theory. Her articles have been published in a number of journals, including Wisconsin Law Review, Washington University Law Review, U.C. Davis Law Review and the Ohio State Law Journal. In addition, Smith co-authored an amicus brief on the constitutional rights of children that was cited in Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark United States Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision.


The Smartest Constitutional Argument For Marriage Equality that No One is Making,

Blog posts

Obergefell and the Interests of Children

Ban Proponents Slept Through a Revolution: But Not the One You Think

How Marriage Bans Harmed Children of Same-Sex Parents

Kid Power!


  • JD, University of South Carolina, 1996
  • MPA, University of South Carolina, 1993
  • BA, Government and French, Wofford College, 1991

Featured Publications

State Action that Penalizes Children as Evidence of a Desire to Harm Politically Unpopular Parents, 101 Suffolk Law Review 17 (2018).
Amicus Brief on Constitutional Rights of Children (n/a 2015).