LLEAP Adjunct Spotlight: Allison Smith Newsome Encourages Students to Be Open to Opportunities

Allison Smith Newsome

The law school’s Legal Writing, Leadership, Experiential Education, Advocacy and Professionalism (“LLEAP”) program offers students an experiential component taught by adjunct professors who are practicing attorneys. Allison Smith Newsome (LAW ’19) has served as an adjunct professor in Matt Salerno’s LLEAP 3 - Transactions course since 2021. 

Smith Newsome is an associate at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP in Cleveland. She advises providers and health systems on Federal and State regulatory matters, licensing regulations, payor participation, corporate transactions, and entity formation. Smith Newsome draws on her experience in matters pertaining to telehealth, Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act to counsel research organizations and medical device companies. 

In speaking about Smith Newsome, Salerno says, “Allison is perfect for LLEAP 3 - Transactions. She has passion and practical experience that the students value and can relate to.” Smith Newsome loves working with the students. “It’s exciting to see each cohort gain confidence in their skills and to be around the next class of attorneys. I’m always proud to see the students my alma mater is cultivating,” she says. 

Smith Newsome knows the valuable impact that the LLEAP 3 - Transactions course has on the students. In speaking about the course, she says that she enjoys “students sharing that they found the course really helpful for their later internships or work,” and she appreciates “seeing the growth in the students over the semester.” Smith Newsome does not just teach as a LLEAP 3 adjunct, she also continues to learn and to hone her own lawyering skills. “It challenges me to improve my presentation skills and to keep up with the materials as well to ensure that I can effectively communicate the lesson to the students and answer their questions,” says Smith Newsome.

When asked to give advice to new lawyers, Smith Newsome suggests that they “stay open to different specialties and practice areas and try to partake in a variety of internships and networking opportunities.” For students aspiring to be lawyers, she encourages them to “live in as many spaces and talk to as many lawyers as they can.” Smith Newsome stays true to her own advice. In 2023, she received the Dedicated Alumni Award from the Black Law Student Association at the Law School. In 2022, she was named to the Lawyer of Color ‘Hot List’ and to the National Black Lawyers Top 40 Under 40. Smith Newsome is a Resident Ambassador to Cleveland, responsible for attracting professional talent to Cleveland. And, she won the Akron Open Tennis Tournament this summer!