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The Honorable Lavenski R. Smith

Lavenski R Smith was born and raised in Hope, Arkansas Born October 31, 1958; he is the son of Cayce B (deceased) and Olee M Smith After graduating from Hope High School in 1977, he enrolled in the University of Arkansas where he received a bachelors degree in 1981 He obtained his law degree from the University of Arkansas Law School in 1987

After law school, Smith went to work as a staff attorney for Ozark Legal Services, where he specialized in consumer defense and representation of juveniles as a guardian. In 1991, he opened a private practice in Springdale, Ark The Smith Law Office was the first minority-owned law firm in that northwest Arkansas town His practice focused on civil law areas such as domestic relations probate, workers compensation, commercial transactions real estate and civil liberties.

In 1994, he became a full-time assistant professor at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark From 1996 to 1997, he worked as regulatory liaison at the office of Arkansas governor In 1997, he was appointed chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission, where he served until his appointment to the Arkansas Supreme Court in 1999, completing the term of the retired Justice David Newbern.