Alex Smalls, J.D.
Professor of Legal Practice

Alex Smalls was appointed Chief Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in 1997 and was the first African American in Delaware to become a Chief Judge of a State Court. Early in his career, Smalls worked in the New Castle Law Department, the Wilmington City Solicitor Office and the Attorney General’s Office.

In 1985, he returned to the City of Wilmington as the Commissioner of Licenses and Inspection, followed by an appointment to the position of Director of Public Safety for the City of Wilmington. After serving in this role for six years, he was appointed Associate Judge of the Municipal Court for the City of Wilmington in 1991. From there, he moved into the Chief Judge of the Court of Common Pleas position.

In addition, he served on the Governor’s Justice Reinvestment Task Force, the Delaware Racial Justice Improvement Project Task Force, and the Delaware Criminal Justice Council. Previously, Smalls was chairman of the Community Legal Society, on the Board of Directors of the Layton Home, and on the Board of Trustees for both St. Edmond’s Academy for Boys and Ezion-Mount Carmel United Methodist Church.

In a story for Delaware Public Media upon his retirement from the Court in 2021, Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz Jr. said that Smalls “led one of the State’s busiest courts with great distinction. Litigants and attorneys who appeared before him, and his judicial colleagues, know the Chief Judge as a humble, caring, and compassionate man. We thank him for his service to the citizens of the First State.” Smalls is a graduate of the Rutgers University School of Law.

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