Louis Smith  devotes his practice to public law and government litigation. He has represented governmental agencies and private clients in a wide variety of federal, state, and local proceedings. In 1991-92, Mr. Smith served as Deputy Hennepin County Attorney, where he was second in command of an office of 125 attorneys responsible for felony prosecution and civil representation of Hennepin County.
Mr. Smith has extensive experience in urban development and the planning and implementation of public infrastructure improvements. He represented the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority in Hollman v. Cisneros, which resulted in a landmark settlement providing $100 million from HUD for the redistribution of public housing in the Twin Cities. He has counseled the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District in structuring the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Clean Water Partnership, which is undertaking the largest urban lake restoration project in the United States and has received three environmental awards.

Mr. Smith has broad experience in structuring public-private partnerships, and providing strategic counsel to clients confronting a wide array of public policy challenges. He counsels Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Children's Hospitals and Clinics, Phillips Eye Institute, and The Minneapolis Foundation in a partnership with local government that focuses on safety, jobs, and housing, and infrastructure for the Phillips neighborhood in Minneapolis. He is also counsel to a consortium of local government and corporate partners created to guide the redevelopment of the Midtown-Lake Street Corridor in Minneapolis, and the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership formed to guide investment along the Green Line among 'eds' and 'meds' anchors. Mr. Smith served as counsel for a statewide task force to develop a strategic plan for criminal justice and drug policy for the Department of Public Safety.

Since 1994, Mr. Smith has been named by the Minnesota Guidebook for Law and Leading Attorneys as one of the 19 leading attorneys in Minnesota specializing in urban and local government. Since 1995, he has received the Martindale-Hubbell "AV" rating, the highest rating members of the bar bestow upon their peers.

 Mr. Smith received the Chief's Award of Merit from the Minneapolis Police Department in 1992 for his contributions to law enforcement. He received the Minnesota Human Rights Volunteer Award in 1987. He serves on the board of directors of the Rivers Council of Minnesota, and is a member of the Hennepin County, Minnesota, and American Bar Associations.


  • J.D. (cum laude), University of Minnesota Law School, 1982; associate editor of the Minnesota Law Review.
  • B.A. St. Olaf College, 1979. Phi Beta Kappa.
  • Clerk to the Honorable Gerald W. Heaney, Eighth Circuit, 1983-85