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Nana A. Asante-Smith

Raleigh | 919.835.4683
Fax | 919.834.4564

Nana Asante-Smith concentrates her practice on business litigation, internal investigations, and allegations of sex discrimination at colleges and universities. She has represented clients in industries such as financial services, health care, manufacturing, and education. Across the board, she helps clients get to the root of the challenges they face, identify solutions, and seize opportunities. She leverages her experience as a Wake County assistant district attorney, where she prosecuted an array of cases.

Nana has litigated a variety of complex contract disputes, including those involving trade secrets, unfair trade practices, and securities. She has also represented hospitals in involuntary commitment (IVC) hearings. She has experience in federal and state courts, including the North Carolina Business Court, as well as administrative courts.

In addition, Nana has conducted internal investigations for clients and helped them respond to government inquiries, including federal and state Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charges. In internal investigations, she helps clients uncover and anticipate potential criminal and civil exposure, and she makes proactive recommendations to reduce risks moving forward.

Nana has also conducted internal investigations tied to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which regulates sex discrimination and sexual harassment. A high-profile example of that work was an internal investigation involving a large state university’s athletic department. She also provides representation in Title IX hearings for parties who are reporting or accused of sexual harassment.

She has maintained a focus on Title IX since she was a student at Duke University, where she served as a disciplinary advisor. At UNC School of Law, she served as attorney general of the Graduate and Professional Honor System. She was inducted into the school’s James E. and Carolyn B. Davis Society, which recognizes eight graduates each year for extraordinary leadership ability, integrity, dedication, and character.

Prior to and during her law school tenure, she served as a domestic violence and sexual assault advocate with the Durham Crisis Response Center. She was a liaison among survivors of domestic and sexual violence, the Durham District Attorney's Office, and the Durham Police Department.

Nana is committed to serving her community and her fellow attorneys. She is currently on the Durham YMCA's advisory board and the board of directors for Duke University's alumni network in the Triangle. She is also the former chair of the Durham Mayor's Council for Women.

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Honors & Awards

  • North Carolina Lawyers Weekly Leaders in the Law, 2022
  • Triangle Business Journal's Women in Business Award, 2021
  • Business North Carolina magazine’s “Legal Elite," Young Guns, 2021
  • Duke Alumni Association's Beyond Duke Service and Leadership Award, 2020
  • North Carolina Lawyers Weekly Women of Justice Honoree, 2019
  • UNC School of Law James E. and Carolyn B. Davis Society


  • North Carolina State Bar, Grievance Committee, Subcommittee III, Advisory Member, 2020-present
  • Durham YMCA, Advisory Board, 2024-present
  • Duke Alumni Association, Triangle Chapter, Board of Directors, 2023-present; Volunteer Admissions Interviewer, 2016-2019
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Alpha Zeta Omega Chapter, Building Our Economic Wealth Committee, Co-Chair, 2024-present
  • People's Alliance, Political Action Coordinator, 2017-present
  • The George H. White Bar, President, 2022-2023; Community Service Chair, 2019-2021
  • North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers, President, 2017-2022
  • Durham Mayor's Council for Women, Chair, 2020; Member, 2018-2020
  • North Carolina Judicial Council, 2019-2020
  • Durham Crisis Response Center, Board of Directors, 2017-2019