Andrea Smaxwell is committed to being a strong, effective attorney for her veteran clients as they seek the legal benefits guaranteed by their past military service. She has a breadth of knowledge and experience in international law, workers’ compensation and personal injury law.
Before joining the Deuterman Law Group’s Veterans Disability practice as an associate attorney, Andrea worked as a law clerk in the firm’s workers’ compensation department.
Andrea earned her juris doctorate with a distinguished specialization in international law from Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco in 2009. She continued her studies at the school’s Sompong Sucharitkul Center for Advanced International Legal Studies. She earned her Master of Laws (LLM) in International Legal Studies there in 2010. While earning her second law degree, Andrea focused on humanitarian law, learning specifically about the rights of soldiers, civilians and other noncombatants during war and times of conflict.
An Indiana native who was raised in Raleigh, Andrea graduated magna cum laude from UNC Wilmington with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religion and a minor in political science. With intentions of becoming a strong legal advocate, Andrea’s undergraduate studies were heavily focused on logic, the mathematical study of arguments, and global politics.
Originally, Andrea considered a career in international law. But it soon became clear to her she could use her legal knowledge to help people at home, one-on-one. That’s one of the things she enjoys most about her work at DLG – the ability to make a direct impact on disabled veterans and their families while helping them navigate the complex VA benefits system.
Her previous legal experience includes internships with the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office and the Law Office of Carol M. Langford, a national expert witness on the ethical conduct of lawyers. Andrea has also worked as a legal drafter for Younce & Moore, LLP, and Garrett Walker Aycoth & Olsen in Greensboro.
While earning her juris doctorate, Andrea received the top grade awards in international business transactions and appellate advocacy for both writing and oral arguments. During her Master of Laws program, she earned the Grotius Award for Academic Achievement in International Law, awarded to the program’s top student. She also participated in international moot court competitions.
Andrea is accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs to represent veterans and their families on appeals of their VA disability claims.
As a member of N.C. Bar Association Military and Veterans Law Section, Andrea continues to hold leadership positions. She was elected membership chair for 2021-2022 and was elected treasurer for 2022-2023.
She is also a member of the N.C. Advocates for Justice, the N.C. Association of Women Attorneys (NCAWA) and the NCAWA Piedmont Triad Chapter and National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates (NOVA).
She volunteers with the North Carolina Bar Foundation’s Lawyers for Literacy.
She lives in Greensboro.