Ralph Harrison Smith II is special counsel in the firm’s Birmingham office, where his practice focuses on general corporate and business matters, international transactions, healthcare, higher education, and NCAA compliance.
Prior to joining Jones Walker, Mr. Smith spent 25 years in private law practice in Washington, D.C. and Birmingham before joining the University of Alabama System in 2004 as General Counsel and Member of the Chancellor’s Senior Policy Staff. Mr. Smith also served the University as Distinguished Lecturer of Law and Special Advisor for International Trade and Economic Development.
A Rhodes Scholar, Mr. Smith received his undergraduate degree from Washington & Lee University and his juris doctor degree from Yale Law School. He attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, where he received an M.A. in politics, philosophy, and economics.
Mr. Smith has been an officer, director, or trustee of numerous educational, charitable, and civic organizations, including the Association of American Rhodes Scholars, of which he is currently the President. He is also responsible for the Rhodes Scholarship selection process in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and the American Caribbean.
In addition to his law practice, Mr. Smith serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of The Ralph Smith Group (www.ralphsmithgroup.com), a global consulting company for business and higher education. He is also a co-founder of the Global Innovation Alliance, a consortium of business, academic, and government institutions in Asia, Europe, North and South America to promote innovation and entrepreneurship. He was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013 to the Order of St. John, an Order of Chivalry of the British Crown with historical roots in the 11th century Knights Hospitaller and Knights of Malta.
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