No stranger to overcoming adversity, Samantha McDermitt has excelled in spite of everything she has faced. Raised in a single-parent home after losing her father at just nine months old, Ms. McDermitt was taught the value of education and hard work at an early age. Ms. McDermitt left for college with those ideals in mind, and, despite undergoing a major surgery during her first year of law school, was able to maintain a rigorous schedule and finish the year on time. Her experience in academia left her with a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from Georgetown University in 1975 and 1978, respectively, a JD from the University of Santa Clara in 1980, and a LLM from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984. She became admitted to practice in both the District of Columbia and the United States District Court of the District of Columbia in 1981 and in the Supreme Court of the United States in 2011. Further, she completed postgraduate work at Harvard Law School between 1989 and 2005.
Although Ms. McDermitt suffered a spinal cord injury in 2005, she continues to maintain an active schedule, traveling to teach, attend conferences and presentations, and write and produce plays. She has worked in a private practice in Washington, D.C., since 1981, and is the founder and executive director of the Law Theater Project. Ms. McDermitt created the latter as a venue through which she turns notable cases into plays to tackle subjects like ethics, history, social concerns, politics, and law. She has also been an adjunct assistant professor at the Yale Gordon College of Liberal Arts at the University of Baltimore since 1991.
Prior to her current work, Ms. McDermitt was a research assistant at the University of Santa Clara and the University of Pennsylvania, and an associate at the Law Offices of Miller, Loewinger & Associates. She also garnered experience as an adjunct professor at Montgomery College, a managing partner at J-L-S Services, a volunteer attorney at the ACLU National Capital Area, and a lecturer at The Writer’s Center. Additionally, Ms. McDermitt volunteered on the McGovern for President campaign, the Sarbanes re-election campaign, the United Farmworkers Union, and the Urban Coalition Basketball League. In 2013, she was a judge for the Georgetown University MockTrial Tournaments, the American University MockTrial Tournaments, and the National MockTrial Tournaments.
One of Ms. McDermitt’s passions besides law is writing. She has thus contributed numerous articles to professional journals over the course of her career, and has penned the likes of “Toward a New Social (Democratic) Contract,” and “John Marshall: Farmer Extraordinaire and the Seeds of Corporate Capitalism.” Many of the pieces she authored were delivered at conferences such as, “Is it Ethical to Teach Ethics on the Web,” and “The Good and the Bad News on Enlightenment Thought in Modern Euro-Social Theory: More Than Good Works – Human Subjectivity in the Era of Exploitative Corporate Objectification.” Some of the plays she produced included “Schenck v. United States,” “Bradwell v. State of Illinois,” and “Justice Disordered.”
When Ms. McDermitt isn’t working, she enjoys a variety of hobbies, including photography, fiction writing, art, films, basketball, and both classical and rock music. She is also interested in military history, archery, bridge, and politics.