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Nancy Erika Smith


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Nancy Smith graduated from Rutgers School of Law – Newark, New Jersey in 1980 and shortly thereafter began employment in a labor and employment litigation firm. In 1986 she and her partner Neil Mullin formed the firm that became Smith Mullin. Smith’s dedication to and expertise in employment law has garnered Smith Mullin tremendous success since its beginning. Nancy Smith has litigated many landmark cases such as Slohoda v. United Parcel Service, Donelson and Seddon v. Dupont, Rendine v. Pantzer, and Caggiano v. Fontura. Nancy Smith and Neil Mullin worked for over 20 years on Landano v. Rafferty, a pro bono case in which they successfully obtained the freedom of a man wrongly-convicted of killing a police officer.

Since 1986, and every year thereafter, Nancy Smith has been listed as an employment litigation specialist in “Best Lawyers in America.” In April 2009, she was listed as one of Superlawyers’ “Top Ten” best lawyers in New Jersey. She has been consistently listed in New Jerseys’ Top 100 lawyers and Top 50 female super lawyers since Superlawyers began publication in 1998.

Speaking Engagements and Committee Involvement

Nancy Smith has spoken extensively at various conferences and summits. In September 2009, she taught a course to judges and barristers at Oxford University on issues related to employment law and discrimination. She has chaired the Employment Law Program at the New Jersey Judicial College, the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Bench Bar Conference, and the annual ICLE Labor Law Forum for many years. In early 2011, Nancy Smith moderated a panel of current and former female New Jersey Supreme Court Justices for the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Women in the Professional Section.

She has also served full terms on the Supreme Court Ethics Committee and the Supreme Court Attorney’s Fee Arbitration Committee for Suburban Essex. She was elected Chair of the Labor and Employment Section of the NJSBA.

Nancy Smith is admitted to the New Jersey State Bar (1980); the U.S. District Court of New Jersey (1980); the U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit (1985); and the United States Supreme Court (1986).

Awards and Accolades

  • Awarded the Steven F. Sharp Public Service Award by The American Association for Justice – July 2017
  • Anne Frank Award from the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect – June 2017
  • NJAJ Gold Medal for Distinguished Service – April 2017
  • Wins 2014 Professional Lawyer of the Year Award by the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law – 2014
  • Named to the SuperLawyers list – 2014
  • Selected as the NJAJ recipient for the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism’s Lawyer of the Year Award – 2014
  • Recently Elected as Fellow of the American Bar Foundation – 2013
  • NAACP Honorable Constance Baker Motley Legal Redress Award Recipient – November 2012
  • Arthur Vanderbilt Award Recipient presented by the New Jersey State Bar Association for distinguished service in contributing to the improvement of the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of the judicial system
  • Garden State Equality – Equality Company of the Year Award for commitment to equality for the LGBT community – 2011
  • 2010 Irish Woman of the Year Recipient by Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo – 2010
  • Named Distinguished Alumna of Rutgers School of Law-Newark – October 2009
  • Top Ten Lawyer in New Jersey Recipient from Superlawyers – April 2009
  • Shirley Chisholm Award Recipient from Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver for her achievements in law and child advocacy – April 2009
  • Platinum Award Recipient from New Jersey Women Lawyers for leadership and initiative in the law – 2008
  • Senator Menendez passed a Special State Recognition for her work promoting the civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens – 2007
  • New Jersey Lesbian and Gay Coalition Rebecca Locketz Legal Award Recipient for her contributions as a leader in the community to ensure LGBTI rights – 2007
  • Leadership Award Recipient from the National Children’s Alliance, nominated by Governor Jon Corzine and New Jersey Senator John Adler for her work with abused children – May 2006
  • President’s Meritorious Service Award Recipient from the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies – 2006
  • Trial Bar Award Recipient from the Trial Attorneys of New Jersey for Distinguished Service in the Cause of Justice – 2004
  • Samuel S. Saiber Professional Achievement Award Recipient from the Essex County Bar Association for her work and leadership in the Bar, pro bono work after September 11 – May 2002
  • Moderator, NJ Supreme Court Committee on Women in the Courts – February 2001
  • Elected as Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers – 2000
  • Founder, Wynona’s House, a non-profit child advocacy center in Newark that promotes a multi-disciplinary approach to finding justice for abused children – 2000
  • Recognized as Employment Litigation Specialist by Best Lawyers in America – 1986 – Present

*Nancy Erika Smith was selected to the 2016 Super Lawyers list. The Super Lawyers list is issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.



  • Employment
  • Civil Rights Litigation


  • New Jersey and U.S. District Court, 1980
  • District of New Jersey, 1980
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1985
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1986


  • Rutgers School of Law-Newark, J.D. 1980
  • Montclair State College, B.S., 1977, Summa Cum Laude


  • American Bar Foundation
    • Elected Fellow, May 2013
  • New Jersey Association for Justice
    • Board of Governors
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
    • Women in the Profession Section
    • Individual Rights Section
    • Labor and Employment Section, former chair
  • American College of Employment Lawyers
  • National Employment Lawyers Association
    • Former Member, Executive Board
  • Essex County Bar Association
    • Former Member, Board of Trustees
    • Former Member Judicial Appointments Committee
  • American Association for Justice