Kelsey Smith is a NIL attorney and Litigation attorney at Hahn Loeser

Kelsey L. Smith


200 West Madison Street
Suite 2700
Chicago, Illinois 60606

Primary Practices

Kelsey L. Smith is an experienced business, real estate, and litigation attorney, with a legal practice encompassing a broad range of business disputes. She has practiced in both federal and state courts on a variety of matters, including complex commercial litigation, business and corporate disputes, construction litigation, malpractice, cryptocurrency matters, construction litigation, and condominium disputes. Kelsey also has experience with a wide array of corporate governance matters and commercial transactions from all sides of the table, including asset sales and acquisitions, significant contract negotiations, shareholder agreements, and commercial contracts. She has substantial real estate experience in negotiating, drafting and counseling clients on commercial real estate brokerage and commercial leasing matters. Kelsey has also represented numerous clients, as both tenants and landlords, in leasing various commercial, retail and industrial properties throughout the United States.

Kelsey’s recent work and career interests include:

  • Serving as outside general counsel to client company in the business of modular manufacturing, construction, delivery, and installation of prefabricated buildings
  • Representation of various employer entities in enforcing restrictive covenants and trade secret violations in employment disputes
  • Representation of purchaser in asset sale of fitness franchise location
  • Advising on university collective activities regarding the NCAA’s interim name, image, and likeness (NIL) policy for college athletes and the NCAA’s enforcement of the Policy, including as it relates to recruits and athletic departments
  • Monitoring and advising on the quickly shifting landscape of climate change legal challenges including through litigation filed in courts in the USA and globally, and in the world governments’ responses passing legislation and regulations

Prior to joining Hahn Loeser, Kelsey was first a law clerk and then an associate with a Chicago-based boutique litigation firm, where she had extensive experience with all phases of litigation, in both state and federal court, including drafting pleadings, directing discovery, and drafting and arguing dispositive motions. Kelsey graduated magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Before that, Kelsey earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Political Science and International Studies from the University of Michigan where she graduated with honors. After graduation, she moved to Chicago and then worked as an account executive for Yelp. Subsequently, Kelsey worked for the International Association of Defense Counsel as its membership manager, before she transitioned out of that role after her first semester of law school.

Kelsey’s practice constantly evolves and involves something new, which keeps work interesting for her. She enjoys new challenges and puts her refined problem-solving skills to work no matter what issues her clients have. On top of that, Kelsey’s clients find her down to earth and relatable. Acting as somewhat of a utility player herself, she uses a broad range of sports metaphors and makes the law understandable and accessible as she advises her clients both outside and inside the courtroom.

Professional History

  • Associate, Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP, 2021 – present
  • Associate, Patterson Law Firm, 2020 – 2021
  • Law Clerk, Patterson Law Firm, 2018 – 2020
  • Guardian ad Litem, Loyola University Community Center, 2019 – 2020
  • Membership Manager, International Association of Defense Counsel, 2016 -2018
  • Account Executive, YELP!, 2015 – 2016


  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
    • Honors & Activities: Dean’s List All Semesters, Thomas More Merit Scholar Recipient, John R. Jozwiak School of Law Quasi-Endowed Scholarship Recipient, Loyola Consumer Law Review, Staff Editor, Doctrinal Academic Tutor for first year Property and Criminal Law classes
  • University of Michigan, B.A., with honors, International Studies and Political Science
    • Honors & Activities: Kappa Alpha Pi Alpha Chapter Pre-Law Society; Director of Social Relations, Universidad de Salamanca Summer Spanish Program, Research Assistant to Professor William S. Lovejoy, University of Michigan School of Business, Research Assistant to Professor Michael S. Barr, University of Michigan Law School
Awards & Distinctions

Rising Star, Illinois Super Lawyers®, Business Litigation, 2024

Bar Admissions

State of Illinois


Northern District of Illinois


State of Ohio