Lisa Margaret Smith

  • Honorable Lisa Margaret Smith


BA, Earlham College
JD, Duke University School of Law

United States Magistrate Judge, Southern District of New York

The Honorable Lisa Margaret Smith is a United States Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of New York and sits in the United States Courthouse in White Plains. She was originally appointed in 1995 and she is currently serving her second term as a Magistrate Judge. From 2006 to 2008 she served as Chief Magistrate Judge for the Southern District.

Prior to being appointed to the bench, Judge Smith was an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York (1987-1995).  As an AUSA Judge Smith investigated and prosecuted a myriad of criminal cases, including international money laundering, extortion and loan-sharking, narcotics distribution, and tax crimes.  Before becoming an AUSA she served as a Kings County (NY) Assistant District Attorney (ADA) from 1980 until 1985, rising to Supervising Senior ADA in the Appeals Bureau, following service in several other bureaus. From 1985 until 1986 Judge Smith was an Assistant Attorney General in the Appeals and Opinions Division of the New York State Department of Law, situated in Albany.  She represented the State of New York on appeals in state and federal courts throughout New York, and she co-authored an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the National Association of State Attorneys General filed in the Supreme Court of the United States. In 1986 Judge Smith re-joined the Kings County District Attorney’s Office as a Supervising Senior ADA. She remained there until 1987, when she became an AUSA for the Southern District of New York. 

Judge Smith earned her BA degree with honors in political science from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana in 1977, and her JD degree from Duke University School of Law in Durham, North Carolina in 1980. She is a member of the Boards of Editors of the Federal Courts Law Review, an on-line and print journal of the Federal Magistrate Judges Association, and of the Federal Bar Council Quarterly.  Judge Smith serves as a Director on the Board of the Westchester Women's Bar Association, which is a chapter of the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York.  She is also active in the Federal Magistrate Judges Association and the Federal Bar Council.

Judge Smith has been an Adjunct Professor at Pace Law School since 2006.