Amanda S. Smith
Associate | OSBA-Certified Specialist in Labor and Employment Law
DE&I Officer | National Diversity Council Certified Diversity Professional
Amanda’s unusual path to becoming a labor and employment attorney began with earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in neuroscience at Allegheny College and Kent State University, respectively. After determining that a career in science ultimately was not for her, she took a job as a legal assistant following her graduate studies, and immediately fell in love with law.
That first position at a plaintiff’s side labor and employment firm quickly evolved into enrolling in classes at the University of Akron School of Law, where she eventually earned her juris doctor degree, summa cum laude.
Her experience to-date as a management-side labor and employment attorney has led to some lively discussions at the dinner table back home with her father (a police chief) and mother (a former union president).
Amanda has found the work to be both fascinating and fulfilling. She represents employers in many types of labor and employment matters, including with labor negotiations and arbitration as well as charges before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Ohio Civil Rights Commission and other state fair employment practice agencies. She also counsels employers on litigation and alternative dispute resolution matters, as well as wage/hour compliance, performance and leave management, discipline, and workplace policies. Amanda firmly believes in the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). In furtherance of her commitment to advancing DE&I initiatives both at K|W|W and beyond, in December 2021, Amanda completed the National Diversity Council’s DiversityFIRST certification program to become a National Diversity Council Certified Diversity Professional and regularly counsels employers on DE&I-related matters.
Other Personal Background Information and Interests
Amanda is a native of Falconer, N.Y., near Chautauqua Lake. She and her spouse, Brian, are enjoying a joyfully chaotic time of life raising two young boys. Amanda likes to stay active and enjoys spending time outdoors with her family, friends and rescue dog, particularly in the park systems around the area.
The Akron resident and her spouse are self-proclaimed foodies who like to sample the fare at various Northeast Ohio dining establishments.
- Allegheny College, B.S., 2007
- Kent State University, M.S., 2009
- The University of Akron School of Law, The University of Akron, J.D., summa cum laude, 2014
- Supreme Court of Ohio
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
Professional Activities and Recognition
- Rated by SuperLawyers Rising Stars 2022
- Member, Ohio State Bar Association
- Member, Akron Bar Association; Chairperson, Labor and Employment Section
- Member, Akron Area SHRM
- Member, Women’s Network of Northeast Ohio
- Member, ATHENA Akron
Publications and Presentations
- 2022 Ohio SHRM State Council annual HR conference: Beyond Compliance: How to Strengthen and Protect Your Organization by Being Proactive and Intentional About DE&I.
- 2021 Northern Ohio Women In Leadership Symposium for the Ohio Diversity Council: I Am Not Your Superwoman: Debunking Women Having to Take Care of Everything, March 2021
- KWW Rise & Learn Series, Human Resources Workshops and Employment Law Briefings
- How to Make the Best Hiring Decisions in a Challenging Recruitment Environment, December 2020
- A Primer on Effective Performance Management, November 2020
- How to Have Effective Workplace Conversations with Your Employees about Racial Inequity, August 2020
- Protecting Your Business from the ‘Uptick’ in Wage and Hour Lawsuits, May 2019
- Affirmative Action: How to Survive an OFCCP Compliance Review, January 2019
- PEs, PIPs, and LCAs: Filling Your Toolbox for Managing Performance and Workplace Conduct, February 2018
- Best Practices in Hiring, September 2017
- Structuring Effective Separation Agreements, March 2017
- Properly Documenting Employee Performance, Discipline and Termination, July 2016
- Employee Handbooks: No More “Blah Blah”; Eliminating Unnecessary Policies and Language; Effectively Communicating Your Company’s Culture, September 2015
- Annual Ohio Human Resources Manual, American Chamber of Commerce Resources, January 2015-present
- Up in Smoke: Employers Weed Out Their Options Regarding Ohio’s New Medical Marijuana Law, KWW Annual Client Seminar, 2016
- How Public Sector Employers Can Comply with Ohio’s New Ban-the-Box Legislation, Northeast Ohio Regional Library System, February 2016
- Hiring and Terminating Employees in the Current Economy, Sterling Seminar, August 2015
Civic/Charitable Activities and Associations
- Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, Board Member
- Fairlawn Area Chamber of Commerce Board Member