About Joyce Smithey

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Email: joyce.smithey@smitheylaw.com
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Joyce Smithey is a highly respected employment and labor law attorney who represents employers and employees throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia in a diverse range of legal matters. With more than 22 years of employment law experience, she brings a wealth of knowledge to helping clients cost-effectively protect their interests in administrative hearings, state and federal litigation, and day-to-day practice.

Attorney Joyce Smithey provides experienced legal representation to employers and employees throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia. Focusing her practice exclusively in the areas of employment and labor law, she has garnered a reputation as one of Annapolis’s leading attorneys by representing both employers and employees.

Whether drafting employee handbooks or arguing vigorously on behalf of her clients in federal court, Ms. Smithey brings a comprehensive knowledge base and passionate attention to detail to helping her clients enforce their rights, protect their interests, and remain in compliance with the law.

Background | Education, Legal Experience, and Bar Admissions


After graduating from Maryland’s Severna Park High School, Ms. Smithey moved across the country to attend Pepperdine University. Following her graduation with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 1993, she worked her way back to the East Coast, enrolling at Boston University School of Law in 1996. During law school, Ms. Smithey served as a district court intern for the Maryland State’s Attorney’s Office, and authored, “Housing Discrimination Against People with Mental Disabilities: How does the Fair Housing Amendment Act of 1988 Help Implement the Goals of Deinstitutionalization?”

Legal Experience

Upon graduating with her Juris Doctor degree in 1999, Ms. Smithey began her legal career with a law firm in New Hampshire. Several years later, she returned to Maryland, spending time at two Baltimore firms before joining Rifkin Weiner Livingston LLC in 2007, where she was an equity partner with the firm and the Chair of its Labor and Employment Practice Group.  Ms. Smithey opened her own practice, Smithey Law Group LLC, in 2018.

Bar Admissions

Ms. Smithey is a member of the following state and federal bar associations:

  • Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA)
  • District of Columbia Bar Association (DC Bar)
  • New Hampshire Bar Association
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Recognition | Awards, Lectures, and Publications


2023 Maryland’s Top 100 Women from The Daily Record
“The 2023 Maryland’s Top 100 Women are leading companies, creating change, breaking barriers and charting new territory. They are leaders who make a difference in their communities and also mentor and inspire future leaders toward success,” said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, managing director of The Daily Record/BridgeTower Media. “This year’s Circle of Excellence honorees are inspirational. They have been active, successful leaders in their professions and in their communities for many years and are also devoted to mentoring future generations. We at The Daily Record are honored to recognize these outstanding women.”

Women to Watch 2022 from Baltimore Business Journal
Thrilled to be named by Baltimore Business Journal among the Women to Watch 2022. The BBJ selected two women of note in each industry that they deemed Women to Watch. Honored to be named one of the two in the law profession.

2019 Leadership in Law from The Daily Record
“The Leadership in Law honorees are exceptional in what they do professionally and in the greater community,” said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, publisher of The Daily Record. “Through their professional and volunteer accomplishments, they uphold high legal standards and improve communities throughout Maryland. Mentoring is an important part of who they are, and their impact on upcoming generations is noted. The Daily Record is pleased to honor them.”

Baltimore SmartCEO – 2016 Centers of Influence Awards Honoree –
Joyce E. Smithey named by Baltimore SmartCEO as one of the 2016 Centers of Influence Awards Honorees.

The Daily Record’s Top 100 women: Top 100 Women in Maryland

Chambers Band: Band 1 ranking in the Chambers USA legal guide

Fellow of the American Bar Foundation: Member of American Bar Foundation

As a result of her experience, pro bono work, and extensive record in state and federal court litigation, Ms. Smithey has received numerous awards and recognitions during her legal career. These include:

Lectures and Publications

Ms. Smithey has also taught seminars and law school courses on labor and employment law topics, and she has published extensively in the area. This includes authoring the Fourth Edition of Maryland Rules Commentary and contributing to the MSBA Maryland Employment Law Deskbook. She is also a regular contributor to The Employee Advocate, the newsletter of the Metropolitan Washington Employment and Labor Lawyers Association. Some of Ms. Smithey’s other lectures and publications include:

  • “Personality and Integrity Tests for Hiring and Promoting Employees” (co-authored with Reuben Wolfson, Lexis Practice Advisor)
  • “Pros And Cons Of Using Personality Tests In Hiring Process” (co-authored with Reuben Wolfson, law360.com, July 3, 2019)
  • “Employment Contracts Presentation” – Joyce Smithey’s presentation at the University of Maryland (March 5, 2019; March 2, 2021; & March 1, 2022)
  • “Representing the Accused in the Me Too Era” (Maryland Bar Journal Magazine, January 2019)
  • Employment Law Institute presentation regarding 2018 Legislative Law Updates with Sally Dworak-Fisher, Esq. (April 2018)
  • “Effective Mediation Strategies” (Bar Association of Montgomery County, 120th Annual Meeting and Law Day Celebration)
  • “Data Safety in the Workplace” (Maryland Bar Bulletin)
  • “Employment Rights for Employees Living with Cancer” (Wellness House of Annapolis)
  • “Employment Rights for Employees Living with Mental Illness” (Trial Reporter, Winter 2015)
  • “Restrictive Covenants and Software Engineers” (Intellectual Property Series)
  • “Tenth Amendment” (PPLSI)
  • “It Didn’t Happen at Work: Can They Fire Me Anyway?” (DC Bar Continuing Legal Education Program)
  • “Maryland 2021 Legislative Update” (Legal Excellence Week)
  • “Vaccine Protocols and a Return to Work”
  • “Maryland Employment Laws Legislative Wrap-Up for 2020” (Maryland State Bar Association)
  • “Political Speech in Polarizing Times” (Changing Currents)
  • “Wage and Benefit Issues”
  • “Labor and Employment Law Issues in the Era of Covid-19” (Maryland State Bar Association)
  • “Marijuana in the Workplace” (Maryland State Bar Association)
  • “Workplace Disputes: From Administrative Review to Trial: Your Ultimate Legal Guide to Employer and Employee Disputes” (Upholding Ethic Standards, Radisson Hotel Baltimore Downtown- Inner Harbor)

Community | Memberships and Pro Bono Work


Ms. Smithey is a current and past member of numerous academic and local, state, and national professional organizations. Her current affiliations include the following:

  • American Bar Association
  • DC Bar Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Maryland Employment Lawyers Association board member
  • MSBA Labor and Employment Law Section – Section Council Member, Legislative Liaison, and President-Elect
  • National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA)
  • Women’s Bar Association of Maryland
  • Maryland Association for Justice
  • League Representative in East Severna Park Swim League
  • Board Member of SPY Swimming

Ms. Smithey’s past affiliations and memberships include:

  • Pepperdine University Washington D.C. Internship Program
  • Board of Trustees for Dress for Success New Hampshire
  • Executive Committee of the Pepperdine University Washington D.C. Waves Mentor
  • MD State Bar Association’s Board of Governors

Pro Bono Work

In addition to her regular practice, Ms. Smithey also does significant pro bono work for two organizations: The Women’s Law Center and the Workplace Street Law Program. Her volunteer experience includes serving on the Employment and Labor Law Hotline for the Women’s Law Center, and teaching for the Workplace Street Law Program. Ms. Smithey has also authored amicus briefs for NELA.

Contact Joyce E. Smithey | Employment and Labor Law Attorney Serving Employers and Employees Throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia

If you would like to speak with Ms. Smithey about your employment or labor law needs, please feel free to schedule an initial consultation. To speak with Ms. Smithey in confidence, call (410) 919-2990 or submit a request online today.


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