Joseph C. Smith, Phillips Lytle Associate

Joseph C. Smith

(716) 847-5407
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Mr. Smith focuses his practice on environmental law and energy matters, including land use, environmental reviews and regulatory compliance. He regularly supports project developers with right-to-build approvals under land use and zoning laws, including the State Environmental Quality Review Act, the Clean Air Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. Specifically, he has extensive experience with environmental impact reviews for large scale infrastructure and private development projects. He also advises clients on issues related to brownfield redevelopment projects complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. In the energy sector, Mr. Smith assists clients with legal and regulatory matters before the New York State Public Service Commission.

Mr. Smith is a member of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

Admitted to Practice

  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • Ontario, Canada - Foreign Legal Consultant

Honors & Awards

  • 30 Under Thirty Award, Business First of Buffalo, 2017
  • Clinical Legal Education Association, Outstanding Student Award, 2015


  • State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 2015
  • St. John Fisher College, B.A., cum laude, 2012

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
    • Environment, Energy & Resources Section
    • State & Government Law Section
    • Young Lawyers Division
  • Bar Association of Erie County
  • Buffalo Niagara Partnership BN360
  • Community Associations Institute
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Environmental Law Section
    • Local and State Government Law Section
  • Urban Land Institute, Associate Member

Present Activities

  • Buffalo Niagara River Land Trust, Board of Directors
  • Environmental Law Institute, Associate Member
  • St. John Fisher College, Justinian Order
  • NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association, Associate Member
  • Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village, Advisory Council

Past Activities

  • Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project, Pro Se Assistance Program, Student Attorney Volunteer
  • Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project, Student Attorney Volunteer
  • State University of New York at Buffalo, Animal Law Pro Bono Project, Student Volunteer Coordinator
  • St. John Fisher College, Student Government Association, Class President
  • St. John Fisher College, First Generation Scholarship Committee, Executive Board Member
  • Rochester Center for Community Leadership, Monroe County Election Fellows Program, Coordinator
  • Jamaican Advantage thru Sports for Youth (JASY), Service Trip Team Leader
  • Town of Hamburg Little Cagers Basketball Program, Coach