Danielle D. Smid


Office: 515-242-2415

Mobile: 515-669-7165

Fax: 515-323-8515



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

Vaccinations in the Workplace

August 12, 2021   As the COVID-19 Delta variant spreads, many employers are becoming increasingly concerned about the health and safety of their workforce and have again begun Read…

New EEOC Guidance on Vaccinations

June 21, 2021   As Americans continue to be vaccinated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to CDC recommendations, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) Read…

OSHA Issues New Standards for Healthcare Employers and Updated its Guidance for Non-Healthcare Employers Regarding COVID-19

June 13, 2021 On June 10, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health and Administration (OSHA) issued new standards for healthcare employers and updated its guidance for non-healthcare employers Read…

Embracing Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

August 27, 2020 Diversity and inclusion in the workplace are vital to the success of every business. Diversity and inclusion is a company’s mission, strategies, and practices to Read…

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…

Option for Avoiding Total Layoffs During COVID-19

March 18, 2020   This is not a new program but has new features to assist employers in trying to avoid layoffs. Iowa Workforce Development describes its “Voluntary Read…

Attorneys Danielle Smid and Margaret Hibbs Promoted to Members

January 19, 2021   Two attorneys have recently been promoted to members at BrownWinick. This class of shareholders includes attorneys from the Employment & Corporate Transaction practices. BrownWinick would like to congratulate Dani and Maggie for recently being voted in as members to the firm and for their continued pursuit of excellence in service to our clients.    Read…

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

May 28, 2020   BrownWinick’s Employment Practice Group has 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 Megan Moritz and Danielle Smid. The “Return to Work Playbook” (or Playbook) will be used as a tool with attorney consultation Read…


Jakkie Guerrero



Iowa State University

B.S., 1995


Drake University Law School

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