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300 S. Wacker Drive
Suite 3400
Chicago IL 60606
TEL: 312.786.6589
FAX: 312.986.9192
Practice Areas
  • 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


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

Jennifer has extensive litigation and trial experience before state and federal courts, and numerous administrative agencies, and has argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Jennifer was recognized by Illinois Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in 2012. Jennifer is a member of the Illinois Council of School Attorneys and the National School Board Association Council of School Attorneys (NSBA).  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

  • Defending a class action brought against the second largest school district in Illinois, School District U-46, which challenges the district’s 2004 student assignment plan, alleging the district’s plan discriminated against minority students; the suit also challenges the district’s English Language Learner and other District programs.
  • Representing 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.
  • Won case before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of an Illinois community college.
  • Successfully assisted urban school district terminate its consent decree
  • Negotiates service agreements, including transportation, facility use, and related service agreements.