When Adam Smith, J.D. '97, has his head in the clouds, he is actually hard at work. As chief legal officer of Terremark Worldwide, he is responsible for managing the day-to-day legal affairs of a company that provides information technology around the globe. When he speaks about cloud computing, network access points and collocation, he sounds more like a computer science engineer than a lawyer.
Growing up around Tampa Bay, Smith attended Tufts University and majored in international affairs and political science. As a student at Miami Law, Smith was a research assistant to Professor A. Michael Froomkin, one of the leading scholars on electronic commerce and internet law. "He was a leader very early on in the field," Smith recalled. "He was instrumental in helping me focus on what I ended up doing."
In fact, Smith credits the School of Law with helping him get to where he is today. Smith was working in Washington D.C. in late 1999 when Professor Froomkin gave Smith's name to a Miami firm looking for assistance in e-commerce matters. Smith consulted with the practice for a few months before moving to Miami to head up the firm's e-commerce and technology practice. From there, he went to Terremark in 2004. "I started out as an internet lawyer, but I have a broad range of skills now," he said.
Those skills came in handy in January 2011, when Verizon announced it was interesting in buying Terremark. Smith was a key player in the $2 billion deal. His role was to "manage the entire legal process on the Terremark side of the transaction and participate in the negotiations with our outside counsel on behalf of our board of directors," he explained. Terremark is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon.
Life for Smith is anything but boring. "What's great about this job is that there's almost no typical day," he admitted. "You always feel like you're going 1,000 miles an hour." Smith's wife, Lila, is also a lawyer. When asked about what he does in his spare time, Smith answered quickly, "I have a three-year-old and a five-year-old. They're my spare time."
The sky is the limit for Adam Smith. "If there's something you're interested in doing, regardless of what it is, I think you have to pursue it," he said. "Focus on what you are most interested in. You never know how things are going to turn out."