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300 S. Wacker Drive
Suite 3400
Chicago IL 60606
TEL: 312.786.6589
FAX: 312.986.9192
Practice Areas
Education
  • J.D., with distinction, University of Iowa, 2003
  • B.A., magna cum laude, University of Northern Iowa, 2000
Bar & Court Admissions
  • Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
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Jennifer A. Smith

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Jennifer’s practice involves representing education clients on a wide range of issues, including matters related to student rights, special education, general contract matters, labor and employment law, policy development, TIF counseling, and litigation. She has extensive experience in representing public school districts in civil rights investigations and litigation. Jennifer has also represented higher education institutions.

Jennifer has extensive litigation and trial experience before state and federal courts, and numerous administrative agencies. Jennifer’s reported cases include: Swan v. Bd. of Educ. of City of Chicago, No. 13 C 3623, 2013 WL 4401439 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 15, 2013); Johnson v. Bd. of Educ. Champaign Cmty. Unit Sch. Dist. #4, No. 00-CV-1349, 2009 WL 3765846 (C.D. Ill. Nov. 4, 2009); B.H. v. Joliet Sch. Dist. 86, No. 08 C 4974, 2009 WL 1269256 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 30, 2009).

Jennifer is recognized by Illinois Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in Schools and Education Law (2012-2014). Jennifer is a member of the Illinois Council of School Attorneys and the National School Board Association Council of School Attorneys (NSBA). She will be presenting at the 2015 NSBA Annual Conference on “Sexual Violence and Schools: Navigating Title IX in 2015.” She presented at the 2013 NSBA Annual Conference on “When is Enough Enough? Responding to Bullying Complaints in 2013.”

Jennifer joined the firm in 2008. Prior to joining the firm, she was an attorney at Robbins Schwartz (2005-2008) and Spencer Fane (2003-2005).

Representative Experience  click to view

  • Defended a class action brought against the second largest school district in Illinois, School District U-46, which challenged the district’s 2004 student assignment plan, alleged the district’s plan discriminated against minority students; the suit also challenged the district’s English Language Learner and other District programs.
  • Represented three Indiana school districts—Hamilton Southeastern Schools, Franklin Township Community Schools and Middlebury Community Schools—in their case against State of Indiana officials alleging the State’s school funding formula is unconstitutional and as a result their districts are not receiving sufficient funding.
  • Negotiating service agreements, including transportation, facility use, and related service agreements.
  • Successfully defended northwest suburban school districts in lawsuit filed by municipality seeking to claw-back TIF district funds distributed by village at termination of TIF district. Village argued that TIF district was terminated prematurely and that funds distributed to school districts should have remained with village. Circuit Court granted school districts’ motion to dismiss, and village subsequently abandoned all claims against the districts.

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