Fresh off of active duty with the United States Marine Corps, Robert Smith had a decision to make … he needed a career — and fast. With a young family to support, his discipline and determination guided him toward what would become one of the greatest challenges he would face.

Smith didn’t shy away from the unknown. Instead, he applied the values and tenacity instilled during his time with the U.S. Marine Corps to forge ahead. Leaving high school in the ninth grade, his decision to enlist in the Marine Corps provided the first opportunity to overcome and create a better situation.

After obtaining his GED and completing his military service, Smith jumped into junior college two weeks before his 25th birthday. Within 5½ years he obtained an Associate’s Degree, a Bachelor’s Degree and finally his Juris Doctor from the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

“I couldn’t see this path,” Smith said. “What the Marine Corps does is it cures one from the notion of whining. You either do something or you don’t — the drive and momentum to move forward is squarely on you. I knew I had to decide on a profession, and I knew it was up to me to get it done.”

The hard work paid off. Fast forward 17 years later, and Smith now enjoys a successful litigation practice with Renaud Cook Drury Mesaros, PA (RCDM). He especially relishes the opportunity to provide counsel in high-exposure cases using creative strategies to achieve successful outcomes for clients.

“It’s civil litigation, and it’s high-exposure civil litigation on a national scale,” Smith said of his work at RCDM.

Prior to entering private practice, Smith worked as a major felony attorney for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. To this day, he continues his involvement with the Maricopa County Superior Court volunteering as a Civil Judge Pro Tempore.

Smith is the first at RCDM to serve in this important role, part of the firm’s dedication to supporting attorneys’ seeking out volunteer work.

“It’s giving back to the legal community,” Smith said. “RCDM has been very gracious in allowing all of its attorneys to pursue extracurricular activities. The firm is a proponent of encouraging us to volunteer in ways that are important to us.”

Robert Smith is a Senior Associate at RCDM. He can be reached at remsmith@rcdmlaw.com, or visit our website www.rcdmlaw.com/team for his complete bio.