Michael Ray SmithPartner
Attorney Michael Ray Smith sometimes explains that he is in his third career. His first career was as a chemical engineer with Eli Lilly and Company after graduating from Vanderbilt University. From 1978 through 1993 (with two years out to get a master’s degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University), he worked in manufacturing and process development areas and as a department head of biochemical engineering. He completed law school while he was working full time in those positions.
Mr. Smith's second career began when he finished law school in 1993 and joined Lilly's Law Division as in-house counsel, where his responsibilities included environmental law, securities, and commercial transactions. While working as an attorney with Lilly’s commercial transactions group, he worked on a variety of strategic sourcing initiatives, joint ventures, and other transactions. He also developed a system for writing and maintaining contract templates for use by the company’s procurement professionals in areas as diverse as laboratory research, construction, advertising, and market research.
Mr. Smith began his third career in 2008 as a business lawyer in private practice, when he took advantage of Lilly’s early retirement program and opened a solo practice, Michael Smith Law Office, LLC, which is now the business law division of Smith Rayl Law Office, LLC. He brings this extensive business law experience to his private practice, where he concentrates on providing personal service and practical advice to businesses, especially small businesses, and nonprofit organizations. In particular, Mr. Smith has an extensive practice in the area of limited liability companies.
Mr. Smith has always been concerned about the delivery of legal services to those who can't afford a lawyer. While he was at Lilly, he founded and led a pro bono program for Lilly attorneys and established relationships between the Lilly Law Division and two Indianapolis legal service providers. A relationship with the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society enabled Lilly volunteer attorneys to represent low income individuals in court. A similar relationship with the Community Development Law Center gave Lilly attorneys the opportunity to provide legal services to nonprofits working in low income communities. Mike served as a volunteer attorney with both organizations and also served on the Board of Directors and as President of CDLC. In 2004, the Indiana Heartland Pro Bono Council honored him with the Heartland Pro Bono Award in recognition of his work with the Lilly pro bono program and with CDLC.
Michael also has a passion for teaching. While he was at Lilly, he developed and taught several training courses for Lilly personnel, including an extensive course in contract law for Lilly's procurement organization. After he left Lilly, he spent a semester supervising law students in a externship program jointly conducted by CDLC and the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, and for two years he also served as an Adjunct Professor at the same school, teaching Contract Drafting to second year law students. He has also taught seminars for the National Business Institute in contract law and limited liability companies.
Nonprofit Externship Program, 2009Contract Drafting, 2010-12
Pro Bono Service
Former Director, President, and Volunteer Attorney
Former Volunteer Attorney
J.D., Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, 1993
Summa Cum Laude Note Development Editor, Indiana Law Review
M.S., Purdue University, 1982
Chemical Engineering Thesis research in technology related to artificial kidneys
B.E., Vanderbilt University, 1978
Summa Cum Laude, Chemical Engineering
Jurisdictions Admitted to PracticeIndiana, 1994
U.S. District Court for Southern District of Indiana, 1994
U.S. District Court for Northern District of Indiana, 1994
U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, 1995
Professional & Bar Association Memberships
American Bar Association
Indiana State Bar Association
Indianapolis Bar Association
American Institute of Chemical Engineers