Martha Smeltzer West was born in Pomona, California. West received her A.B. degree from Brandeis University in 1967. She received her J.D. from the Indiana University School of Law, summa cum laude, i..
Martha Smeltzer West was born in Pomona, California. West received her A.B. degree from Brandeis University in 1967. She received her J.D. from the Indiana University School of Law, summa cum laude, in 1974. While at the Law School, she served on the editorial board of the Indiana Law Journal (v. 49) and organized the Women’s Law Caucus. After graduating, West clerked for Judge Jesse Eschbach and then joined the Indianapolis law firm Ice Miller, practicing labor and employment law from 1974 until 1978. From 1979 to 1982, she represented members of the United Auto Workers in personal legal matters with the UAW Legal Services. In the fall of 1982, West returned to her native California when she joined the faculty of the University of California Davis School of Law. West spent the next twenty-five years at UCD teaching labor law, employment discrimination, and sex based discrimination. She served as Associate Dean from 1988 to 1992 and as Clinical Director from 1993 to 1997. In 1998, she founded the school’s Family Protection Clinic, designed to provide family law representation for battered women and their children. She also supervised the school’s externship program for her entire tenure at the school and was a member of the Davis School Board for eight years, three as president. West retired from full-time teaching in 2007, but remained active as the General Counsel for the American Association of University Professors from 2008 to 2010. Among her many awards are UCDSL Distinguished Teaching Award (1997), the Frances Newell Carr Award from the Women Lawyers of Sacramento (2000), and the California NOW Award for outstanding women in education (2002). In 2011, West was inducted into the Indiana University School of Law’s Academy of Law Alumni Fellows. West continues to consult and lecture on wide range of legal issues relevant to women in education.