Attorney James "Jim" Smith is a partner in the Fayetteville office of Conner & Winters. Jim’s practice experience is extensive and spans the full range of business advisory and transactional law. He routinely counsels companies across diverse industries in a myriad of business matters including company formation matters and capital raising, advising Boards of Directors, senior management, executives and controlling shareholders regarding governance and fiduciary duty matters, compliance with regulatory obligations, ordinary course of business contracts, executive compensation and compensatory plans, financial and lending matters (including private placement of securities), venture capital, private equity and commercial lending matters, taxation, mergers and acquisitions and real estate related matters. A meaningful part of his practice is also devoted to the representation of angel investors, private equity investors and venture capital firms in making investments in business enterprises.

Before joining Conner & Winters, Jim practiced in Corporate and Securities, Mergers and Acquisitions and Private Equity and Venture Capital at the law firm he co-founded with Rebecca Hurst in 2011. Prior to that, Jim practiced law for two decades as a partner with the largest Arkansas-based law firm. 

Jim Smith is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (registered inactive) and serves as a Commissioner on the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and as the current Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Arkansas Tech University, originally appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson. From 2021 to 2022, he served as the President and Chief Legal Counsel of Good Day Farm, which is the largest multi-state operator of medical marijuana cultivation and dispensary  facilities in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri. For years, Jim has taught at the University of Arkansas School of Law as an adjunct professor in the areas of Mergers and Acquisitions, Private Equity, Corporate Ethics and Securities Regulation.

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Smith, James

Honors & Leadership

Honors & Recognitions

C-Suite Honors, Northwest Arkansas Business Journal in 2017

Best Lawyers in America™, Top Arkansas Mergers and Acquisitions Lawyer

Chambers & Partners USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in securities and corporate law

Included on Arkansas list of Best Lawyers in America™ in the areas of Banking and Finance Law, Corporate Governance Law, Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Real Estate Law, Securities / Capital Markets Law, Securitization and Structured Finance Law and Tax Law

Recognized on list of Mid-South Super Lawyers for Mergers and Acquisitions (2009 - present)

List of Top 50 Super Lawyers in Arkansas (2013 - present)

AV-Preeminent rating, Martindale-Hubbell

Arkansas Tech University Hall of Distinction, 2001 inductee

Arkansas Business 40 Under Forty list, 2000

Northwest Arkansas Business Journal 40 Under Forty list, 2000

Community & Professional

2023 Chairman, Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees

Member, Northwest Arkansas Council

Board of Directors, Priority Bank

Executive Committee, Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce (former chairman)

Board of Directors, Arkansas Venture Capital Forum (former co-chair)

Board of Directors, Arkansas Tech University Foundation (former president, former finance committee chair)

Tax Section, Arkansas Bar Association (former chairman)

Sustaining Fellow, Arkansas Bar Association

Fellow, Arkansas Bar Foundation

Member, Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants

2002 Graduate, Leadership Fayetteville

Arkansas’s Federal Tax Institute (former chairman)

Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce (former board of directors)

Fayetteville Community Foundation (former chair)

Arkansas Rice Depot (former president)

University of Arkansas Law Alumni Society (former president)

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Northwest Arkansas (former board of directors)

Northwest Arkansas Museum Foundation (former board of directors)

Northwest Arkansas Symphony (former board of directors)




New York University School of Law, LL.M. in Taxation, 1995

University of Arkansas School of Law, J.D. cum laude, 1994

Arkansas Tech University, B.S. in Accounting, cum laude, 1991 


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