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Wade M. Smith, born in 1937 and raised in Albemarle, N.C., describes his background growing up a rural community, his family, including brother Roger W. Smith, and their influence on him, his college education at UNC on a Morehead Scholarship where he also played football, his determination to become a lawyer, and education at UNC School of Law. He reflects on his experiences as a criminal defense attorney in Raleigh. Other topics in this interview include his artistic talents, influential law professors, his personal and legal philosophy (particularly his passionate belief in legal representation of the accused), important cases over his career including the MacDonald and Spaulding cases, his political beliefs, and his involvement as a representative in the N.C. General Assembly. He also speaks about his mentors in the legal profession including Carlisle Higgins and Robert McMillan. He concludes with thoughts about the flaws in the legal system, the importance of philanthropic activities, and the qualities he believes are important to a good defense lawyer.

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