Nicole Smith Futrell is a Clinical Law Professor and Supervising Attorney in the Criminal Defense Clinic. For over ten years, she has been working to advocate for the rights of indigent people accused of crimes. In the clinic, she teaches students the practical and theoretical skills necessary to represent low-income individuals charged with misdemeanor offenses in Queens Criminal Court.
Prior to joining the faculty, she was a public defender at the Bronx Defenders, a community based organization with an interdisciplinary approach to criminal defense advocacy. While there she worked as a trial attorney, litigating misdemeanor and felony cases and conducting a number of criminal defense trainings for new attorneys and local community groups. She has also worked as an advisor in the Center for Public Interest Law at Columbia University Law School. She received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and her B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University. Prior to attending law school, she studied South Africa's post-apartheid criminal justice system as an Institute for International Public Policy Fellow. Professor Smith Futrell's clinical practice and research and writing interests are focused on challenging discriminatory police practices, indigent defense reform, and social justice lawyering.