Darlene Woodson Smith, J.D.



Darlene is a vibrant, dynamic attorney and valued, trusted advisor whose life’s work has always centered around community and public service, philanthropy, volunteerism, and advocacy on behalf of vulnerable and marginalized groups who are traditionally underrepresented and underserved in the legal community.

During the course of her career, she has worked as a solo practitioner, independent contractor, legal consultant, government attorney, and corporate attorney, providing both litigation and/or transactional services for individual clients, companies, non-profits and/or other charitable organizations, government entities and other quasi-governmental agencies, schools and other educational and/or learning centers, and not-for-profit community centers and service organizations, among many others.

Prior to venturing out on her own, Darlene worked 6 years as an Assistant District Attorney in the Advisory Group of the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, Civil Division. Her work involved advising on purchasing laws, policies, and procurement procedures. Darlene oversaw and managed some of the most important and lucrative Dallas County projects and contracts during her employment, including, but not limited to, the drafting, reviewing, and negotiation of multi- million dollar construction contracts.

In partnering with Diversity Crew, Darlene brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the general practice area of employment law, including, but not limited to, employment policy, practice and procedure, workplace discrimination, retaliation, and harassment, compliance with federal and state anti-discrimination laws, implementation of affirmative action, anti-discrimination, and anti-harassment policies.

Darlene attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas as an undergraduate, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs in Corporate Communications (Public Relations) in May of 1998. She then graduated from SMU Dedman School of Law earning a Juris Doctor in May of 2001

Certifications & Education

  • SMU, Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs in Corporate Communications, May 1998
  • Oxford University, SMU Dedman School of Law Study Abroad Program, Oxford, England (United Kingdom), Summer 1999
  • SMU, Dedman School of Law, Juris Doctor, May 2001

Focus Areas

  • Employment Law, Anti-Discrimination, Anti-Retaliation, Anti-Harassment Policy & Procedure, Affirmative Action, Minority/Women
  • DEI Strategy, Communications, and Roadmaps
  • Racial and Gender Equity

Most Requested Presentations

  • “Reaping the Benefits of cross Pollination”
  • “A Teen Mom’s Testimony for Rising Above”
  • “Buying an IT Solution”
  • “Understanding Construction Contracts”

Awards & Recognition

  • Sarah T. Hughes Diversity Scholarship Recipient, Dallas Bar Foundation, SMU Dedman School of Law, 1998-2001
  • American Jurisprudence Award in Torts, SMU Dedman School of Law, Fall 1998
  • William E. Collins Clerkship Recipient, Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, Summer 1999
  • SMU Law Review Association, Member & Articles Editor, 1999-2001 Outstanding Leadership & Distinguished Student Awardee, SMU Dedman School of Law Program to U.S. Supreme Court, Visit with U.S. Supreme Court Justices, Washington D.C., 2001
  • Top 40 under 40, Dallas Post Tribune
  • October 20013 Class Representative, Student Bar Association, 2000-2001
  • Dallas Association of Young Lawyers (DAYL) Leadership Class, 2002-2003
  • Black Law Students Association, President 2000-2001, Vice-President 1999-2000

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