Dr. Alisa Smith is a Professor at the University of Central Florida. She earned her doctoral degree in criminology and criminal justice and her law degree (JD) at The Florida State University. Dr. Smith practiced criminal trial and appellate law for nearly 29 years, and her primary research interests include: Access to justice in the misdemeanor courts; empirical legal studies; and the use of social science by the courts. Dr. Smith has authored more than twenty-five peer-reviewed and law journal articles, reports, and book chapters, and she has authored three books. Her research has appeared in the Journal of Criminal Justice, Florida Law Review, and American Journal of Criminal Law.

Areas of Expertise
  • Criminal and Appellate Law
  • Misdemeanor Courts
  • Social Science and the Criminal Courts

Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice (1998)
Juris Doctorate in Law (1988)
Florida State University


Research Interests
  • Improving access to justice in the misdemeanor courts
  • Analyzing legal questions through an empirical lens
  • Exploring the use of social science by the courts


  • Law and Society Association
  • Consortium of Undergraduate Law and Justice Programs