Charles Smith

CHARLES SMITH was born June 7, 1931 in South Bend, Indiana. He moved to San Antonio in the 9th grade, graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1949. Smith received a History degree from Texas A&M University in 1953 and a law degree from St. Mary’s University Law School where he graduated magna cum laude in 1955. He then entered the U.S. Army as an infantry officer, having been a member of the Corp of Cadets, an ROTC unit at Texas A&M. As of 2018, Charles Smith is an attorney with Jackson Walker L.L.P. in San Antonio, Texas.

During his career as a lawyer, Smith served many positions. He served as President of the Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1962, President for the State Bar of Texas from 1985-1986, first vice-president and president consecutively of the San Antonio Bar Association from 1975-1977 as well as the President of the San Antonio Bar Association from 1976-1977. He was the President of the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys from 1978-1979, a member of the House of Delegates for the American Bar Association from 1985-1986, the Chairman of the Commission on Judicial Conduct from 1990-1994, the vice-president of the Commission for Lawyer Discipline from 1995-1997, the Chairman of the Commission for Lawyer Discipline from 1997-1998, and a member of the Board of Disciplinary Appeals from 2006-2012.

Mr. Smith’s many recognitions include receiving the Outstanding Young Man of San Antonio Award from the Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1964, the Texas Legal Legend Award of the State Bar of Texas in 2010, the St. Mary’s Distinguished Law Alumni award in 1982, the Lola Wright Foundation Award for outstanding public service in the enhancement of legal ethics in 2001, the Joe Frazier Brown Sr. Award for excellence of the San Antonio Bar Association in 2005. He received the Carol Lomax Memorial Award from the San Antonio chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates in 2006, St. Mary’s University School of Law Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007, the Outstanding 50 year Lawyer Award from the Texas Bar Foundation in 2007, the San Antonio Business Journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, and the Ethnics Life Award from the South Texas chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel in 2014.

Among Smith’s most cherished accomplishments has been his work as a foster child advocate. Growing up in a children’s home himself, Smith always maintained a passion working with children, adopting two and fostering countless others. As a member of the San Antonio Youth Literacy organization, he has worked with second grade students who struggle with reading.

By John Cadena, St. Mary’s University Law Fellows in Public History (2018)