Samantha Smith ‘22 selected for the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics law program

Samantha Smith ’22 (BA’19) is one of 14 law students worldwide chosen for the 2022 law program of the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.

Samantha Smith ’22 (BA’19)

Now in its twelfth year of operation, FASPE provides a unique historical lens to engage graduate students in professional schools and early-stage practitioners in six fields—law, business, journalism, design and technology, medicine and seminary—in an intensive course of study focused on contemporary ethical issues in their professions.

FASPE law fellows participate in a two-week program in Germany and Poland, where they examine the conduct of lawyers in Nazi-occupied Europe and reflect on legal ethics today in daily seminars led by specialized faculty. Law fellows travel and study alongside the business and design and technology fellows.

“By educating students about the causes of the Holocaust and the power of their chosen professions, FASPE seeks to instill a sense of professional responsibility for the ethical and moral choices that the fellows will make in their careers and in their professional relationships,” said FASPE founder and chairman David Goldman.

A native of Roswell, Georgia, Smith plans to join Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer in Washington, D.C., as an associate after graduation. She was editor in chief of the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law and was selected as a Vanderbilt Legal Academy Scholar. Her Note, “A Zebra’s Trust: How Rare Disease Communities’ Participation in Data Trusts’ Governance Can Build Trust and Drive Research,” was published in the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law in April 2022.

Smith earned her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University in 2019 with honors in the College of Arts and Science, with highest honors in economics and history, and with a second major in bioethics and organizational leadership. “Although many experiences led me to apply to FASPE, I am particularly grateful for the opportunity to study complex decision making during World War II in my undergraduate honors thesis with Vanderbilt’s history department. That research allowed me to explore the ongoing significance of this time period, and I have routinely reflected on it during my law school career,” she said.

Smith’s thesis, “The Muddled Middle Ground, Capturing the Grey Spaces between Collaboration and Resistance on the German-Occupied Channel Islands, 1940 to 1945,” examined how British citizens navigated the German occupation of their islands throughout World War II.

As a FASPE fellow, Smith will join a diverse group of 80 FASPE fellows across all six programs chosen through a competitive process that drew applicants from across the US and the world. FASPE covers all program costs, including travel, food, and lodging. To date, FASPE has over 650 alumni.