Pat Smith holds an undergraduate degree in history and political science and a juris doctor degree from the University of Montana. His law practice specialized in Indian law where he represented Indian tribes for 31 years, based out of Montana. In 2013, he was appointed by Montana Governor Steve Bullock to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, and also to represent Montana on the Columbia River Treaty’s Sovereign Review Team.
He has also served: on the 2010 Montana Redistricting Commission; as a member of the Governing Council for The Wilderness Society; and as Chief Judge of the Appellate Court of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. He is an enrolled member of the Assiniboine Tribe on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, where his brother continues to operate a wheat farm established by his family. He and his wife Michelle live near Missoula, Montana.