Danielle D. Smid


Office: 515-242-2415

Mobile: 515-669-7165

Fax: 515-323-8515

Email: danielle.smid@brownwinick.com


When people ask what type of lawyer I am, I respond that I am the type of lawyer that helps employers balance their most valuable assets, i.e. their employees, with their business needs.  I am the lawyer that understands that personnel decisions are not black and white and must be made from both a human, business and legal perspective.  Depending on the situation, I may be leading an investigation in your workplace, walking you through a crisis personnel situation over the phone or sitting next to you in the boardroom seeking board approval for important personnel decisions.  I can give you detailed legal analysis on personnel matters which incorporates the business perspective and avoids future litigation.  I will help you manage your most valuable assets in an efficient and high performing manner. 

My Approach

I have learned in my practice that personnel decisions cannot be made on legal risk alone.  Employers have to continue to run their business efficiently and profitably while maintaining a workplace that incentivizes employees to perform up to their highest potential while maintaining a work/life balance.  My job as an employment lawyer is to work directly with human resources and leadership to make personnel decisions that maintain that balance but also avoids unnecessary legal risk and prevent future litigation.  I work alongside employers to see the big picture risks, to investigate concerns and to make decisions that allow their businesses to succeed in today’s market as well as in the future.    In addition, and in the unfortunate circumstances that litigation arises,  I assist employers with all of their administrative agency matters, including but not limited to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, the Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, Occupational Health and Safety Administration, as well as defend employers in state and federal courts. 

More About Me

Before returning to BrownWinick, in January 2019, I was a managing attorney for a utility working directly with leadership on labor and employment matters as well as litigation management.  My experience in-house provided me with the business perspective that I needed to help employers approach important personnel decisions. 

I began my legal career at BrownWinick as an associate after graduating from Drake University Law School in 1998.  While at BrownWinick both as an associate and eventually as a member, I practiced primarily in the labor and employment arena both on the counseling and litigation side.  Prior to attending law school at Drake University I graduated from Iowa State University  with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1995.  I am currently admitted to the Iowa bar and the Wisconsin bar.

I am a Board member of Hope Agency in Des Moines and serve on the City of Grimes Planning and Zoning Commission. 

My Specialties

  • Employment counseling
  • Employment litigation
  • Employment and Restrictive Covenant Agreements
  • Labor issues
  • Administrative Law

Webinar: COVID-19 & Unemployment Law changes in Iowa

March 25, 2020   Click HERE to view webinar BrownWinick attorney Dani Smid explains the changes to unemployment law in Iowa due to the impact of COVID-19. Dani Read…

Returning Employees to the Workplace? We’ve Got You Covered.

May 28, 2020   Eight members of our Employment Practice Group have prepared a “Return to Work Playbook” to assist employers in returning employees to the workplace during this unusual and unprecedented time. The people contributing to this effort include Beth Coonan, Megan Moritz, Danielle Smid, Caitlin Klingenberg, Tess Pocock, and Ryan Shellady. The “Return to Work Playbook” Read…


Brooke Johnson



Iowa State University

B.S., 1995


Drake University

J.D., with honors, 1998


Iowa, 1998; Wisconsin, 2012

Memberships & Associations

  • Polk County Bar Association
  • Iowa State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
    Member; Labor and Employment Section