Professor Alexander McCall Smith's main areas of legal interest are in the fields of medical law and criminal law. Alexander McCall Smith was the co-author (with Professor Mason) of a major textbook on law and medicine. He is also the author of several books on criminal law, including a book on the criminal law of Botswana. He is interested in legal and philosophical aspects of responsibility, and has co-edited a book on the duty to rescue and a book on forensic aspects of sleep disorder.
Alexander McCall Smith is also a best-selling author of novels, short stories, and children's books.
In 2006, Alexander McCall Smith received the Alumnus of the Year Award from the University of Edinburgh. In 2007, he was awarded a CBE. In this same year, Alexander McCall Smith was also awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by the University of Edinburgh.