Rockford, IL

About Our Firm

Sole Practitioner

Location: Rockford, Illinois

Attorney Michael J. Smith was born and raised in Rockford, Illinois. He graduated from Jefferson High School in 1973. He then attended Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky and graduated from Western Illinois University in 1977. Attorney Smith then attended law school at Southern Illinois University where he received his Juris Doctorate Cum Laude in 1980.

While attending law school, Attorney Smith began his family law practice through the Southern Illinois University School of Law clinic program. After graduation, and before passing the bar examination, he practiced as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Rockford pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 711. After passing the bar exam Attorney Smith continued his employment with the City of Rockford until he pursued a career in private practice in 1981.

Since entering private practice, Attorney Smith has maintained a general practice with a concentration in family law. He has been a member of the American Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association and Winnebago County Bar Association for over thirty years each. Attorney Smith is currently a member of the family law section of each of these associations. He is currently on an advisory panel for the American Bar Association. He has been a presenter to other attorneys locally on family law and child related topics.

For over thirty five years Attorney Michael J. Smith has provided experienced family law representation. Family law includes many areas such as dissolution of marriage (divorce), child custody and visitation, child support, parentage (paternity), Orders of Protection and post decree issues as well as adoption and guardianship.

Areas of Practice

  • Divorce
  • Custody
  • Child Support
  • Guardianship, Minors and Disabled Adults
  • Wills

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1980
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 1982


  • Southern Illinois University School of Law, Carbondale, Illinois
    • J.D. cum laude
  • Western Illinois University, Illinois
    • B.A. magna cum laude

Honors and Awards

  • Leading Lawyers Network 2008- Present
  • American Bar Association Family Law Advisory Panel 2012-Present
  • 10 Best Attorneys 2015 – Present

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association, 1980 – Present
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Winnebago County Bar Association, 1980 – Present

Past Employment Positions

  • City of Rockford, Assistant City Attorney, 1980 – 1981
  • Balsley, Morse & Smith, Attorney, 1981 – 1991
  • Law Offices of Michael J. Smith, Attorney, 1991 – 1994
  • Abate & Smith, Partner Attorney 1994-2017
  • Michael J Smith, Attorney at Law 2017 – Present


  • English