Sherrese Smith (JD ’96), Paul Hastings Managing Partner, to Address Class of 2023


Student Experience Alumni
Sherrese Smith

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law is delighted to announce that Managing Partner of Paul Hastings LLP Sherrese Smith (JD ’96) will deliver the convocation address to the Class of 2023. Convocation will be held on Friday, May 12, at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St.

“We are extremely honored that Sherrese Smith will deliver the convocation address to the Class of 2023 and share her insights and advice at this milestone event,” said Dean Hari Osofsky. “She is a pathbreaking lawyer and data privacy and cybersecurity expert who has made important contributions as former general counsel of Washington Post Digital, Chief Counsel to the Chair of the FCC, Partner and now Managing Partner at Paul Hastings, member of our Law Board, and a distinguished alumna.”

Smith is renowned for her expert advisement on crisis issues and, as a result, is regularly sought after by corporate board members and the C-suite. She previously served as vice chair of Paul Hastings LLP’s Data Privacy and Cybersecurity practice and is known as one of the country’s preeminent data privacy and cybersecurity and media and technology attorneys. Consistently ranked as a leading lawyer in Chambers USA and Legal 500, she is recognized throughout the legal, media, communications, and technology industries for her leadership, business acumen, and dedication to clients.

Before joining Paul Hastings, Smith served as Chief Counsel to Chairman Julius Genachowski at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). She was responsible for determining the agency’s business and policy agenda on a multitude of media and technology matters. She led the FCC’s cross‑agency efforts to refine and implement new rules on data privacy and cybersecurity for multinational companies navigating complex data and privacy rules in the U.S., EU, and Asia. Smith’s work also involved extensive interaction with external stakeholders, including wireless, media, cable, and telecommunications companies; industry groups and trade associations; federal and state agencies; and Congress. 

Smith serves on the Board of Directors of NortonLifeLock and Cable ONE. She is also a member of the Northwestern University’s Law School board, a member of the University of Maryland’s Journalism School board, and a member of America’s Public Television Stations executive board.

Smith has a BS in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina. She earned her JD from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

Additional information on graduation week events can be found on the Convocation page.