5 Houston Center, 1401 McKinney, Suite 2250, Houston, TX 77010

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"They were my brothers and sisters in arms."
– RH&A Client
"The level of talent is tremendous."
– Opposing Counsel

Emily Smith

P 713-652-9000 | F 713-652-9800
esmith@rustyhardin.com | vCard |

Emily is known for her persuasive advocacy and her ability to calmly manage complicated, detailed, and time-sensitive disputes. 

Emily is a deft trial and arbitration attorney who advocates for clients on both sides of the “v”. She represents multi-national and small businesses, as well as individuals in complex commercial litigation and business disputes involving a wide variety of issues, including contract, fiduciary duty, negligence, trade secrets, oil and gas, and bankruptcy questions. She also occasionally dips her toe into criminal law; as only a first-year lawyer, she obtained a “not guilty” jury verdict on a possession of marijuana charge. 

Within Rusty Hardin & Associates, Emily is seen as a leader and mentor, with a demonstrated commitment to the Firm’s growth and management. She serves as the Firm Law Clerk & Intern coordinator, overseeing their hiring, placement, and assignments. Emily also served on the Firm’s Marketing Committee and is actively involved in the Firm’s pro bono and charitable efforts.  

Emily is a graduate with honors from Georgetown University Law Center. During law school, Emily interned for Justice Lisabeth Tabor Hughes (formerly Abramson) of the Kentucky Supreme Court, as well as Judge Jennifer Elrod of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Emily also served a judicial clerk for Chief Bankruptcy Judge Jeff Bohm of the Southern District of Texas from 2012 to 2013. 

Emily joined Rusty Hardin & Associates in 2019 after several years with the litigation powerhouse, Quinn Emanual Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP.      

Emily is an active Board Member for the Southern District of Texas Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. She also currently serves on the HBA’s Lawyers for Literacy and Teach Texas Committees. She was listed among Best Lawyers’ Ones to Watch in both 2021 and 2022.

  • Education
    • J.D., cum laude, Georgetown University Law Center, 2012
      • Dean’s List, 2010-2012
      • American Criminal Law Review, Managing Editor
    • B.A., Emory University, 2006
  • Court Admissions
    • State Bar of Texas
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
    • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Publications & Speaking Engagements
    • “A Fresh Look at the Recoverable Damages in Trade Secrets Cases,” Houston Bar Association Seminar, 2018
    • “Fundamentally Wrong: The Consequences of Prosecutorial Cognitive Error,” ABA Criminal Litigation Committee Newsletter, 2014
    • “Corporate Criminal Liability,” American Criminal Law Review, 2011
  • Honors & Awards
    • Best Lawyers in America, Ones to Watch, 2021-2024