Joseph L. Smith, Jr.



Joe Smith advises clients, drafts legislation and lobbies for laws that can improve life for businesses, families and individuals in the Indianapolis community and throughout the state of Indiana. He partners with clients to solve problems and advance goals in issues related to government, labor, employment and benefits, and certified business enterprises and supplier diversity. Joe also provides legal advice and direction to small, minority-owned and women-owned businesses.

Private and Public Sector Experience

Joe has a breadth of experience in both the public and private sectors. He has served as Executive Assistant to former Governor Frank O'Bannon; as the Governor's Liaison for Minority Business Development, the Department of Transportation and the Indiana Lottery; as Political Director of the Indiana Democratic Party, coordinating and overseeing the Party's political operations across the state; as a Compliance Officer for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in the U.S. Department of Labor; and as General Counsel for the Indiana Professional Standards Board. Joe's experience and interpersonal skills allow him to serve as an effective advocate for businesses and organizations.

Related Policy, Advocacy & Consulting Services


Bar Admissions



Indiana University Maurer School of Law
J.D. (1995)

DePauw University
B.A. (1991)

Insights & Events

Leadership & Community

Pro Bono

  • Faegre Drinker — Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2022

Professional Associations

  • Indiana State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

Civic Activities

  • Leadership Indianapolis — Chairman of the Board of Directors
  • Faith and Action – Advisory Board 
  • Indiana Sports Corporation – Board Member
  • Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) — Past Board of Directors
  • Indiana Minority Supplier Diversity Council (IMSDC) — Past Board of Directors
  • DePauw University — Past Board of Visitors
  • Martin Luther King Multi-Service Center — Past Board of Directors

Firm Leadership

  • Board Member; Diversity and Inclusion Committee
  • Faegre Baker Daniels — Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Group


  • Best Lawyers® — Government Relations Practice, 2008-24
  • Faegre Drinker — Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2020; 2023
  • Faegre Baker Daniels — Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2014, 2019
  • Indiana Lawyer — Diversity in Law, 2023
  • The Circle City Chapter of The Links, Inc. — Outstanding Man in the Legal Profession, 2012
  • Indianapolis Business Journal — Forty Under 40 Award, 2008
  • Stanley K. Lacy Leadership Series — Graduate, 2007
  • Indianapolis Center for Leadership Development — Achievement in Professions Award, 2006
  • Who's Who in Black Indianapolis
  • Sagamore of the Wabash — Presented by Governor Frank O'Bannon, 2003, and Governor Joseph Kernan, 2004
  • Indy's Best and Brightest — Finalist, 2004
Awards Methodology
No aspect of these recognitions has been approved by the highest court of any state.
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