Michael Smith (J.D. 1996)

Partner at Smith Barid, LLC

Savannah, GA

Mr. Smith is a founding partner of Smith Barid, LLC in Savannah, Georgia. The firm does estate planning, elder law and special needs planning. After graduating from University of Georgia Law, Mr. Smith worked with small firms as an associate and then a partner before founding Smith Barid in 2006 with his friend from law school, Mr. Richard Barid.

Smith Barid’s estate planning practice serves mostly married couples, aged 55 and older. The elder law practice serves mostly people aged 70 and older who need assistance finding funding for in-home, assisted living, and nursing home care, Medicaid eligibility, and VA benefits. The special needs practice is a version of estate planning and helps parents of special needs children and adults to set up trusts and other legal documents to ensure the continued care of their special needs child in the future. The firm doesn’t really advertise, relying instead on networking. Mr. Barid and Mr. Smith receive referrals from financial planners, insurance professionals, and CPAs, among others. They also are frequently invited to speak to civic groups, community organizations, private seminars of other professionals’ clients, and groups at various long-term care facilities. They have email newsletters, publish articles, and have discussed various elder law and estate planning topics on local television.
Mr. Smith is a member of Wealth Counsel, Elder Counsel, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the National Care Planning Council, the Savannah Bar Association, the Savannah Estate Planning Council, the Greater Savannah Coalition on the Aging, the State Bar of Georgia, and the Fiduciary Law Section of the Georgia Bar. In addition to practicing law, Mr. Smith is the creator of Smitty’s Awesome Rib Rub and competes with the BBQ Craft team on the Kansas City Barbecue Society circuit.
Mr. Smith says the key to networking is to keep doing it. Networking success comes through repetition. On the day that they or someone they know needs what you do, you need to be at the top of their minds.