Ellen Owens Smith

Labor & Employment


  • 501-370-1578
  • esmith@fridayfirm.com
  • 501-244-5379
  • 400 West Capitol Avenue Suite 2000 Little Rock, Arkansas 72201-3493


Ellen Owens Smith is a partner in the Labor and Employment Litigation Practice Group.  She has over 20 years of experience litigating on behalf of employers in Arkansas and across the region.  Her practice includes all areas of employment law including the ADA, FMLA, Gender Discrimination and Harassment, Title VII, Fair Housing Amendments Act, FLSA, Wage and Hour and the NLRA.  In addition to defending clients in court, Ellen works proactively with clients by advising them on their policies and practices and with difficult employment decisions.  In recent years, Ellen has worked with many clients assisting them with the overlapping requirements of the ADA, FMLA and Workers Compensation with a goal of avoiding disputes and protecting employers from abuse. 

In addition to representing businesses, Ellen also represents school districts in Arkansas and has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America in Education Law since 2014. 

Representative Clients

  • City of Little Rock
  • The Bilco Company
  • Little Rock School District


  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law, J.D., With Honors, 1996
  • Northwestern University, B.S., Speech, 1988


  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America, Education Law and Litigation - Labor and Employment, since 2014
  • Voted by the readers of AY Magazine for inclusion in the “Best Lawyers in Arkansas,” Education Law, 2018


Associations & Memberships

  • Appellate Court and Federal Practice Seminar, Discovery and Motion Practice, Little Rock, Arkansas, June 4, 2004
  • Arkansas Bar Association
  • Henry Woods Inn of Court
  • Pulaski County Bar Association
  • Recent Developments in Employment Law, Arkansas Bankers Association, Little Rock, Arkansas September 26, 2007
  • The Family Medical Leave Act in Arkansas, Employee and Employer Notification Requirements, Little Rock, Arkansas, June 12, 2007
  • VIPS, Little Rock School District
  • VOCALS (Volunteers Organization for Central Arkansas Legal Services)


  • Arkansas, 1996
  • United States Courts for Appeal for the Sixth and Eighth Circuits
  • United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas