Dauphin County Lawyer Receives Statewide Award for Leadership

HARRISBURG (Feb. 23, 2018) — The Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Conference of County Bar Leaders (CCBL) has honored Jessie Smith of Harrisburg with its 2018 Gilbert Nurick Award for her commitment to the Pennsylvania and Dauphin County Bar associations. The award was presented during the 52nd Annual Seminar of the Conference of County Bar Leaders, Feb. 22 – 24, in Lancaster.

The Gilbert Nurick Award, which is named for the late Harrisburg lawyer who served as PBA president, is presented to a member of the PBA who exhibits dedication and service to the leadership and promotion of the organized bar and its activities.

A consistent and unwavering supporter of bar association membership, Smith fully engaged in the work of both the Pennsylvania and the Dauphin County Bar associations. She is being honored for her commitment to improving bar operations through her involvement in numerous committees, boards and panels. Throughout her career, Smith has also mentored numerous lawyers and encouraged new lawyers to become involved in bar association work.

A member since 1981, Smith has served as a delegate in the House of Delegates from 2001-2010, as unit county governor from 2010-2013 and as a former House of Delegates board member from 2013-2016. Smith is co-chair of the Commission on Women in the Profession, serving as a member of the WIP Executive Council since 2013. She served on the PBA Diversity Team from 2010-2016 and was its vice chair from 2010-2013. In addition, Smith has held leadership positions in numerous committees, including the PBA Planning Committee and the Nominating Committee. Smith is also a Pennsylvania Bar Foundation Fellow and the liaison to the Pennsylvania Bar Institute.

At the county bar level, Smith was a member of the Dauphin County Bar Association board of directors before becoming the association’s president in 2000. She has also served on numerous committees. In 2013, the Dauphin County Bar Association’s Women in the Profession Committee presented Smith with the DIVA Award for her long-standing commitment to the women in the association and the mentoring she has consistently undertaken for so many over the years.

Smith served as senior deputy attorney general in the Health Care Section of the Attorney General’s Public Protection Division up until her recent retirement in 2017. She also held positions as division chief and deputy attorney general in the Torts Division of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General and deputy secretary of agriculture for Dog Law Enforcement. Smith began her legal career with the Harrisburg firm of McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC.

Smith graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

The Conference of County Bar Leaders, whose membership includes leaders from county bar associations throughout the state and from the Pennsylvania Bar Association, organizes a yearly educational conference focusing on the exchange of innovative bar association projects and ideas and on the development of mutually-beneficial relationships among bar leaders that improve the legal profession. 

Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access to legal services; and serve the 26,000 lawyers who are members of the association.