Florida Lecture Series Returns With A Look At Influential Lawyer Chesterfield Smith

Dec 17, 2021

by FSC Staff

The Lawton M. Chiles Center for Florida History Florida Lecture Series kicks off the 2022 portion of its schedule with a look at one of the most honored lawyers in Florida history.

Dr. Mary Adkins, a Master Legal Skills Professor at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law, is scheduled to talk about her book Chesterfield Smith, America’s Lawyer (2020). The book won the 2020 Rembert Patrick Award, an award presented by the Florida Historical Society for best scholarly work on a topic of Florida history.

Adkins will deliver her talk at 7 p.m. on Jan. 13, in Branscomb Auditorium. It is the fourth lecture in the six-event schedule.

“We are delighted to have law professor Mary Adkins with us for our January 13 edition of the Florida Lecture Series,” said Dr. James M. Denham, Director of the Lawton M. Chiles Center for Florida History at Florida Southern College.  “Her fast-paced, readable biography of one of Florida’s, and the nation’s, most influential lawyers and public citizens is a welcome addition. No American had a greater impact on the practice of law and public affairs in America than ‘Citizen’ Smith. Adkins has provided us with a remarkable portrait of this astonishing man.”

The Florida Lecture Series is a forum that brings speakers to the Florida Southern Campus who explore Florida lifestyles and culture. The series covers a wide range of disciplines including history, public affairs, law, sociology, criminology, anthropology, literature, and art. The objective of the series is to bring members of the community, faculty and student body together to interact with and learn from leading authorities in their fields. 

Smith is best known for leading the American Bar Association’s condemnation of former president Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal, proclaiming that “no man is above the law,” which helped to turn him into a national figure.

Before that, Smith had made himself a legal powerhouse in Florida by helping to revise the state constitution as head of the Florida Bar. Smith also helped grow small Bartow-based law firm Holland, Bevis & McRae into national legal powerhouse Holland & Knight.

Tickets are available through the Branscomb Auditorium Box Office. Call 863-680-4296 for more information.