Jade Chong-Smith Recognized as an "Emerging Woman Leader in Law" by DCA Live

Zuckerman Spaeder is pleased to announce that associate Jade Chong-Smith has been recognized as one of DCA Live’s "Emerging Women Leaders in Law" for 2024. This recognition is given to a small group of “women attorneys in the Washington region who are emerging as leaders within their firms and the broader DC legal community.” Ms. Chong-Smith joins other Zuckerman Spaeder attorneys previously recognized on this list including Margarita O’Donnell, Casey Trombley-Shapiro Jonas, Caroline Reynolds, and Kate Duval.

Ms. Chong-Smith has dedicated her career to protecting her clients’ freedom and opportunities. In private practice, Ms. Chong-Smith represents clients in white collar cases, civil litigation, government investigations, and professional responsibility matters. She is adept at building trust and working both in-court and behind-the-scenes to advocate for her clients’ interests.

Ms. Chong-Smith brings a unique perspective from previous work in the UK, where she served as a trade policy and strategy advisor in the UK Civil Service and separately worked for Privacy International, where she challenged intrusive surveillance practices and defended the privacy rights that support democracy.

Prior to working in the UK, Ms. Chong-Smith defended people in the District of Columbia who could not afford a lawyer in various roles. As Interim Pro Bono and Criminal Division Director at Rising for Justice, she led the division’s overall litigation strategy, managed a full caseload of criminal and juvenile cases, and supervised other attorneys and law students. 

Outside of Ms. Chong-Smith’s work, she helped Patrice Sulton found DC Justice Lab, a non-profit dedicated to criminal legal system reform and serving the interests of Black Washingtonians with respect to such reform. Ms. Chong-Smith continues to support DC Justice Lab’s work by serving on its Board of Directors.

While attending Yale Law School, Ms. Chong-Smith defended people in criminal defense and death penalty matters, served on several student boards, started an inmate tutoring program, and worked for the NYC Legal Aid Society and the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Her dedication to service continues at ZS, where she maintains an active pro bono practice.

Reflecting on the award, Ms. Chong-Smith shares, “I am honored to be recognized for the work I do on behalf of clients and the D.C. community, alongside talented D.C.-based lawyers. I am also thrilled to join the company of exceptional Zuckerman Spaeder colleagues who have been named to this list in previous years, who I have been fortunate to work with and learn from. Lawyers have a monopoly on the provision of legal services and therefore an obligation to fight for the betterment of our clients and communities.”

Ms. Chong-Smith and the other 2024 honorees will be celebrated during an awards ceremony on May 7. 

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Katie Munroe
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