Jessica Smith Receives “Friend of the Court” Award from NC Chief Justice

aculty Member Jessica Smith and Chief Justice Mark Martin

On Monday, Sept. 11, faculty member Jessica Smith received the Amicus Curiae Award from North Carolina Chief Justice Mark Martin.  The award, bestowing her with the title of “Friend of the Court,” recognizes Smith for her outstanding service to the Judicial Branch of North Carolina. 

In 2015, Smith was appointed reporter for the Criminal Investigation and Adjudication Committee of Martin’s North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice (NCCALJ), an independent, multidisciplinary commission that is undertaking a comprehensive evaluation of the North Carolina judicial system and making recommendations for strengthening its courts.

As reporter, Smith researched topics, prepared briefings, made presentations, and facilitated
meetings with stakeholders—all in addition to writing the committee’s twenty-page final report. To better educate members of the North Carolina General Assembly, Smith also designed and narrated a video on juvenile reinvestment. Smith has called her work on the commission the “most important work” she has done in her nearly two-decade-long career at the School of Government.

Smith has served on the faculty of the School of Government since 2000. In 2013, she was named as a W.R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor, one of the highest academic honors at the University of North Carolina.

For more information about NCCALJ, visit