Derrick W. Smith


Mitchell Williams Selig Gates & Woodyard PLLC

Little Rock

Derrick W. Smith

Derrick Smith said he didn't expect to practice insurance, corporate and regulatory law.

After graduating from Hendrix College at Conway in 1997 with a degree in American studies, he earned a law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2000.

The 30-year-old Marianna native started his career as a clerk to Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Olly Neal. He joined Mitchell Williams Selig Gates & Woodyard PLLC in 2001 and became a partner in January of this year.

An opening in insurance and regulatory law landed him in the practice, and he represents some of the nation's largest insurance companies.

It's the variety that keeps him interested, he said.

"It's a different kind of practice," Smith said. "It's interesting and challenging every day."

Smith said his key to success has been embracing change and being willing when opportunity presents itself.

Smith is chair of the Hendrix College alumni board and active in Youth Home Inc., 100 Black Men of Greater Little Rock and the Young Lawyers Section of the Arkansas Bar Association.

"I tend to look for things that benefit what has benefited me," he said. "It's important to give back to any profession."