Hannah Smith

Senior Fellow

Email hsmith@becketlaw.org
Twitter @hclaysonsmith
Phone 202-538-3696
Education Education

J.D., J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, Order of the Coif.
B.A., Princeton University

Clerkship Clerkship

U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.,
U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Clarence Thomas

Senior Counsel Hannah Smith joined Becket in 2007 following US Supreme Court clerkships for Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

Hannah helped secure SCOTUS victories in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC (2012); Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014); Holt v. Hobbs (2015); and Zubik v. Burwell (2016). She’s contributed to 25 SCOTUS briefs and has represented Anglicans, Assemblies of God, Baptists, Catholics, Hindus, Hutterites, Jews, Lutherans, Mormons, Muslims, Russian Orthodox, Santeros, and Sikhs. Hannah is Chair of Becket’s Recruitment Committee, Editor of Becket’s Lawyers Network Newsletter, and co-hosts Becket’s podcast “Stream of Conscience” (debuts 2018).

Hannah testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of Neil Gorsuch and before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution. She’s briefed policymakers at the White House, US Capitol, State Department, Heritage, EPPC, Federalist Society, ABA, National Constitution Center, and Newseum.

Hannah’s television, newspaper, and radio appearances include CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, C-Span, WSJ, Washington Post, AP, Forbes, NPR, and BBC. She’s been on podcasts hosted by the National Constitution Center, Bloomberg BNA, and Federalist. Her opinion-editorials appear in US News & World Report, NY Daily News, Daily Signal, Fox News, NRO, SCOTUSblog, and Deseret News. She has also addressed audiences at Harvard Law, Princeton University, Stanford Law, Columbia Law, Penn Law, Georgetown Law, BYU Law, and Central European University.

Hannah graduated from Princeton University (majoring in the Woodrow Wilson School) and BYU Law School (Order of the Coif). She was Law Review Executive Editor and research assistant for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies. Hannah received BYU’s Alumni Achievement Award and JRCLS’s Women-in-Law Leadership Award for defending religious liberty and advancing the contributions of Mormon women to the law.

Hannah’s private practice at Williams & Connolly and Sidley Austin in Washington D.C. included the cert petition in Corporation of the Presiding Bishop v. First Unitarian Church (2003) and matters for BYU, the LDS Church, and the Archdiocese of Washington DC.

She serves on the JRCLS International Board’s Religious Freedom Committee and the Deseret News Editorial Advisory Board.

Hannah’s featured in the videos: “Preserving Religious Freedom” and “Religious Freedom—Making a Difference.” She has book chapters in “Why I Believe,” “Lengthening Our Stride: Globalization of the Church,” and “Lawyer Leaders.” She’s spoken at regional religious freedom conferences in Texas, Arizona, Nevada, and California with LDS Church leadership.

Hannah served a full-time volunteer mission in France and Switzerland. She and her husband John live in Washington DC with their 4 wonderful children.