St. John’s Law Awards John Q. Barrett and Rachel H. Smith Named Professorships


Dean Michael A. Simons has announced that Professor John Q. Barrett will be the Law School’s Benjamin N. Cardozo Professor of Law and Rachel H. Smith will become the Mary C. Daly Professor of Legal Writing.

Funded through the generosity of St. John’s Law alumni and friends, named professorships recognize Law School faculty members for their outstanding contributions to the legal academy, the classroom, and the St. John’s Law community. With the installation of Professors Barrett and Smith in the coming months, faculty members will hold a total of eight named professorships:

  • Marc O. DeGirolami: Cary Fields ‘86HON Professor of Law
  • Mark L. Movsesian: Frederick A. Whitney Professor of Law
  • Michael Perino: Dean George W. Matheson Professor of Law
  • Rosemary C. Salomone: Kenneth Wang Professor of Law
  • Michael A. Simons: John V. Brennan Professor of Law
  • Cheryl L. Wade: Dean Harold F. McNiece Professor of Law

Professor Barrett is a dedicated and impactful educator who has taught Constitutional Law, Criminal Procedure, and Legal History on the Law School’s full-time faculty since 1995. Outside the classroom, he is an extraordinarily productive legal scholar whose credits include one book, 14 book chapters, 32 law review articles, and dozens of essays. He is also prolific lecturer. Over the past decade, Professor Barrett has given 125 lectures in 16 different states and five different countries. He is a particularly sought-after speaker to groups of federal and state judges. As a noted biographer of the late Supreme Court Justice and Nuremberg chief prosecutor Robert H. Jackson, Professor Barrett serves as the Elizabeth S. Lenna Fellow at the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown, NY and produces the Jackson List, an email sent regularly to thousands of subscribers worldwide.

“Given the breadth and depth of his work, John is an important and influential public scholar,” Dean Simons says. “We recognized his notable scholarly output with the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship in 2019. As dean and as his faculty colleague of many years, I’m so pleased to add to that recognition by naming John our Benjamin N. Cardozo Professor of Law. Commemorating one of the country’s most celebrated jurists, the chair is particularly appropriate for John as its latest recipient.”

Professor Smith joined the St. John’s Law faculty in 2016 and teaches Legal Writing, Legal Research, Law & Literature, Lawyering, and Introduction to Law. For the past few years, she has also served as Associate Dean for Experiential and Skills-Based Education, playing a key role in shaping the curriculum as a member of the Law School’s senior leadership team. Professor Smith is the author of two books on her craft: The Handbook for the New Legal Writer and The Legal Writing Survival Guide. As the Mary C. Daly Professor of Legal Writing, she becomes the first skills professor at St. John’s to hold a named position.

“Rachel is a beloved teacher, a respected scholar, and an esteemed colleague who has been an invaluable partner in charting the direction of the Law School for the last several years,” says Dean Simons. “She is a champion for skills education; she centers our students in all that she does; and she is focused on gender equity and antiracism in her work here at St. John’s and beyond. Awarding her this chair not only recognizes Rachel’s tremendous talents, it affirms the key role our skills faculty members play in the education of our students, in the legal academy, and in the life of the Law School. It’s my honor to name Rachel the Law School’s Mary C. Daly Professor of Legal Writing.”

In the coming months, the St. John’s Law community will gather for a formal installation ceremony celebrating Professors Barrett and Smith.