Dara N. Smith


Dara N. Smith is an associate in the firm’s Finance Department, focusing her practice on public finance matters. She has served as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel and borrower’s counsel on a variety of public infrastructure financing, including charter school, university and multifamily housing matters. She has experience representing governmental entities, health and educational institutions and other private entities developing infrastructure projects. She also has experience in drafting bond documents, official statements, remarketing circulars, continuing disclosure agreements and bond resolutions relating to tax-exempt bond issuances on behalf of local development corporations, industrial development agencies and other governmental agencies. Dara finds fulfillment in helping healthcare and higher education institutions improve their facilities to better serve local communities.

Prior to Ballard Spahr, Dara worked as a finance associate at a major multinational investment bank, where she reviewed and analyzed FINRA rules and provided regulatory guidance on institutional securities businesses pertaining to outsourcing arrangements. Dara focuses her pro- bono practice related to child advocacy and clemency matters. Dara is a former Teach For America Corps member and remains active in the Teach For America alumni network.

Professional Highlights

Judicial Internships

Judge Gerald Bruce Lee, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, 2017

Judge Fern Flanagan Saddler, Superior Court of the District of Columbia, 2016

Professional Activities

Pennsylvania Bar Association

New York State Bar Association, Business Law Section, Derivatives and Structured Products Committee

American Bar Association, Business Law Committee

Recognition & Accomplishments

The Legal Intelligencer "Lawyers on the Fast Track," 2022

Legal 500, Finance - Restructuring (including bankruptcy) - municipal, 2022

Board Memberships & Community Service

Teach for America, Alumni CorpsMember

Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, Pardon Clinic Volunteer



American University, Washington College of Law (J.D. 2017)
Article Editor, “The Modern American Brief”

George Washington University (B.A. 2012)


New York