Michael R. Smith
  • Business Law, Estate Planning, Securities Law...
  • Indiana
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&ALII GoldSocial Media

Michael Smith was born and raised in Tennessee but has been a Hoosier for most of his life. After receiving a B.E. in chemical engineering (summa cum laude) from Vanderbilt University in 1978, he accepted a job with Eli Lilly and Company in Lafayette, Indiana. He took an educational leave of absence from from 1980 until 1982 while he completed a Master of Science degree in chemical engineering, doing research on the potential application of ion exchange technology in the development of an artificial kidney. He returned to Lilly, working first as an engineer in Chemical Process Research and Development and then as a department head of Biochemical Engineering in Bioprocess Research and Development. In 1989 he enrolled in law school while continuing to work full time, obtaining a J.D. (summa cum laude) from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1993. He then moved to the Lilly Law Division, working first in the Environmental Law Group, and then in Securities and Commercial Transactions. While he was in the Law Division, he organized and led the Lilly Law Divison Pro Bono program. In 2008, he elected to retire from Lilly early to open a business law practice in Fishers, Indiana, originally known as Michael Smith Law Office, LLC and later as Smith Rayl Law Office, LLC. In 2018, he and his partner, Susan Rayl, joined with attorneys Joel Hand, Rachelle Ponist, and Valerie Horvath in forming Hand, Ponist, Horvath, Smith & Rayl, LLC. His recreational interests include backpacking and woodworking with hand tools.

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
J.D. (1993) | Law
Honors: summa cum laude
Activities: Note Development Editor, Indiana Law Review
Purdue University - Purdue University
M.S. (1982) | Chemical Engineering
Activities: Research in the possible application of ion exchange technology in artificial kidneys.
Vanderbilt University
B.E. (1978) | Chemical Engineering
Honors: summa cum laude
Professional Experience
Hand Ponist Horvath Smith & Rayl, LLC
- Current
Hand Ponist Horvath Smith & Rayl, LLC
Originally Michael Smith Law Office, LLC
Adjunct Professor
Indiana University School of Law -- Indianapolis
Taught Contract Drafting to law students
Contract Attorney
Community Development Law Center
Adjunct Professor
Indiana University School of Law -- Indianapolis
Conducted the Nonprofit Externship Program for law students at the Community Development Law Center.
Eli Lilly and Company
For more than fourteen years, Michael Ray Smith was in-house counsel for Eli Lilly and Company. While in Lilly's law division, Mike worked in the environmental legal department, in the office of the corporate secretary, and, for the last ten years, in the commercial transactions group. While in commercial transactions, Mike supported the Company's global sourcing operations, writing and negotiating contracts for all manner of goods and services, including a $1.3 billion energy management outsourcing transaction.
Articles & Publications
Yes, Your LLC Needs an Operating Agreement
Fishers Business Insider
Limiting the Discretion of the Administrator of Poor Relief in Indiana
Indiana Law Review
Speaking Engagements
Advising Closely Held For-Profit Businesses, Annual CLE Conference, Rochester, IN
Fulton County Bar Association
Heartland Pro Bono Award
Heartland Pro Bono Council
Professional Associations
Indiana State Bar Association
American Institute of Chemical Engineers
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
D.C. Circuit
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana
  • Credit Cards Accepted
    Visa, MasterCard, Discover
Practice Areas
  • Business Law
  • Estate Planning
  • Securities Law
  • Appeals & Appellate
Additional Practice Areas
  • Limited Liability Companies
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • English: Spoken, Written
Social Media
Websites & Blogs
Michael Ray Smith's Website Profile
Hand Ponist Horvath Smith & Rayl, LLC Business Law Website
Hand Ponist Horvath Smith & Rayl, LLC Main Website
Indiana Business Law Blog
Contact & Map
Hand Ponist Horvath Smith & Rayl, LLC
1512 N Delaware St
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Telephone: (317) 576-8542