YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — There are many family connections at the Mahoning County Courthouse — and a new one started Monday.
Mackenzie Smith Compton took an oath of admission to become an attorney from her mother, Judge Beth Smith.
“I have had the privilege of swearing in other young attorneys, but this is my own daughter so this means a whole lot. This is very important,” Judge Smith said.
Mackenzie could’ve taken the oath from a state Supreme Court justice, but it would have been too impersonal.
“And when I heard another virtual ceremony, I figured I would just really love to have my mother do this for me,” Mackenzie Smith Compton said.
Judge Beth Smith has been a role model not only for her daughter, but other women as well. She was the first woman elected as a judge in Mahoning County, in 1988.
She was pregnant with Mackenzie when she won the 1996 primary for the domestic relations seat, and campaigned with a newborn while winning the general election.
Mackenzie is starting her career in law 25 years later.
“I want her to see that women can make a difference, that women do not have barriers. That we can crack those ceilings and we can make a difference in people’s lives,” Judge Smith said.
Mackenzie graduated from Mooney and Ohio State, then passed the bar exam. She’s a third-generation lawyer in the family.
“Such an honor for me to have the bar exam behind me and to be entering this profession, especially with my mother being the first person to welcome me officially. It’s such a warm feeling and I’m never going to forget,” Mackenzie Smith Compton said.
Her first job is with a small Columbus law firm, where she’s been a clerk for a year.