Robert S. Smith, Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals, was born in New York, New York in August 1944, and grew up in Massachusetts and Connecticut. He graduated from Stanford University (B.A. 1965, with great distinction) and Columbia Law School (LL.B. 1968, magna cum laude), where he was editor-in-chief of the Law Review. From 1968 to 2003 he practiced law in New York City with the firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, taking a one-year leave of absence in 1980-81 to serve as Visiting Professor from Practice at Columbia Law School. He was a Lecturer in Law at Columbia Law School from 1981 until 1990.
On June 1, 2003, he became an individual practitioner and Special Counsel to the firm of Kornstein Veisz Wexler & Pollard. On November 4, 2003 he was appointed by Governor George E. Pataki to the Court of Appeals. The appointment was confirmed by the State Senate on January 12, 2004. Since 2006, Judge Smith has taught the State Constitutional Law course at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He and his wife, Dian G. Smith, live in New York City. They have three children and three grandchildren.