Hon. Doris A. Smith-Ribner (Ret.)

Doris Smith-Ribner

Former Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge

Educational background:

  • University of Pittsburgh, B.A. Degree, Economics
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Law, JD Law Degree
  • Widener University Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree
  • University of Illinois at Chicago, Nonprofit Management Certification

Professional Background:

  • PA Commonwealth Court Judge (Statewide Appeals Court) (1988 – 2009)
  • PA Judicial Auditing Agency (Former Chair)
  • Allegheny County Common Pleas Court Judge (Interim Term)
  • Solicitor, Allegheny County Controller (government auditing, taxpayer litigation)
  • Practicing Attorney (juvenile, public interest, civil rights, tort and criminal litigation)

Professional Appointments (current/former member):

  • White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, Presidential Advisory Commission Member
  • PA Justice Reinvestment Work Group (U.S. DOJ initiative)
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Board of Visitors
  • PA Human Relations Commission
  • PA Interbranch Commission, Gender Racial and Ethnic Fairness
  • PA Supreme Court Disciplinary Board Hearing Committee

Professional/Public Policy Initiatives:

  • Research project on Philadelphia public school student truancy/dropout led to 2013 PA Legislative “At Risk Children & Families Caucus (Truancy/Dropout)”
  • Organized statewide offender reentry summit at Widener Law School
  • Co-organized statewide offender reentry summit at Pittsburgh U. School of Law
  • Developed PA statewide court mediation program — now in its 15th year
  • Developed national judicial externship/clerkship program for law students.

Awards/Honors Including But Not Limited to:

  • 2016 Salute to Greatness Peace Prize Award (Commemorating the life/legacy of Dr. King)
  • Citation from PA House of Representatives
  • Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia “Thaddeus Stevens Award”
  • Resolutions from Philadelphia/Pittsburgh City Councils
  • Philadelphia MLK Assoc. for Nonviolence “Drum Major for Social Justice Award”
  • University of Pittsburgh “Distinguished Alumna Award”