Stephanie M. Smith

Real Estate Attorney

Of Counsel

smsmith@lerchearly.com
7600 Wisconsin AvenueSuite 700Bethesda, MD 20814

Education

  • Georgetown University Law Center (LL.M., International Taxation, 2012)
  • Harvard Divinity School (Certificate Honor Program for Affordable Housing Leaders in the United States, 2008)
  • Rutgers Law School (J.D., 1997) Cofounded law school's first magazine, Rutgers' Perspectives
  • Howard University (B.A., with honors for major, Analytical Philosophy/Languages, 1988)

Admissions

  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
Overview

Real estate attorney Stephanie Smith helps developers and other businesses create communities from start to finish, including corporate structuring, property acquisition, contracts, financing, and closing on multifamily and mixed-use projects throughout the Washington, DC area. She does this while juggling the minute details, business goals, and personalities involved in each transaction, leading one client to say that Stephanie is “an attorney who knows how to keep a deal alive.”

Stephanie represents buyers and sellers in all stages of development transactions, including conducting due diligence, drafting and negotiating joint venture and partnership agreements and sales contracts, reviewing appraisals and surveys, addressing environmental concerns (both Phase I and Phase II), reviewing contractors’ bond performance agreements, assembling financial structures to include equity and debt, and reviewing and negotiating equity investor and/or lending documentation.

She is experienced in 1031 tax-deferred exchanges, as well as both state and local tax credit financing. Stephanie also manages all aspects of closing and post-closing, such as UCC searches, resolution documents, drawdown schedules, and escrow letters. Her clients include large-scale developers, financial institutions, nonprofit property owners, and equity investors.

Stephanie has seen all sides of a variety of real estate deals, both in private practice and as in-house general counsel. In addition, she served as an attorney advisor at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (where she also served as chief of staff and senior policy advisor for political appointees in the Obama administration) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. At the USDA, she represented the Multi-Family Housing division, and at HUD she gave policy advice on key regulations and legislation impacting multi-family housing development.

A lifelong Girl Scout, Stephanie believes in empowering girls with the 3 Cs of Girl Scouts—courage, confidence, and character. She has served as a troop leader since 2010. In addition, music is an important part of her life. Stephanie started playing classical piano at age five, but dreams about channeling Jimi Hendrix on the electric guitar. She loves singing and dancing with her pre-teen daughter and fun-loving husband. Their current family sing-along is Aerosmith’s “Dream On.”

Education

  • Georgetown University Law Center (LL.M., International Taxation, 2012)
  • Harvard Divinity School (Certificate Honor Program for Affordable Housing Leaders in the United States, 2008)
  • Rutgers Law School (J.D., 1997) Cofounded law school's first magazine, Rutgers' Perspectives
  • Howard University (B.A., with honors for major, Analytical Philosophy/Languages, 1988)

Admissions

  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
Representative Matters
  • Multifamily Development: Represent real estate developer purchasing and redeveloping properties for construction of a multifamily development project in Prince George’s County and Washington, DC that includes townhomes, condominiums, assisted living with support services, parking structures, retail, and office space. Representation includes closing on the loan and equity financing of these various transactions to include both state and local tax credit financing.
  • Shopping Center Purchase: Served as lead attorney in negotiating, structuring financing, and closing on the first shopping center in Trenton, NJ, with approximate development costs of $200 million.
  • Affordable Housing: Represented real estate developers and financial institutions in the development of multifamily, mixed income, and mixed-use real estate development projects using both conventional loans and government programs such as HOME, Rehabilitation Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and New Markets Tax Credits.
  • Corporate Counsel: Represent solar energy company on all corporate matters, including restructuring subsidiary companies and drafting and negotiating landfill gas rights, ground leases, and PSA, EPCM and MIPA agreements. Close acquisition and sales transactions of solar companies in the Southeast Atlantic, New Jersey, and Texas regions.
  • 1031 Tax-Deferred Exchange: Represented industrial client in the acquisition and sale of warehouses for 1031 tax-deferred exchange purposes. Handled all due diligence to clear title issues, zoning, and environmental concerns.
  • Public/Private Partnerships: As Senior Advisor and Chief of Staff of USDA’s Rural Development’s Business Services, formed inter-governmental collaborations with the U.S. Small Business Administration on a series of rural roundtables with private investors throughout the United States, which resulted in an increase in public/private partnership projects to rebuild distressed communities in rural America.
Education & Admissions

Education

  • Georgetown University Law Center (LL.M., International Taxation, 2012)
  • Harvard Divinity School (Certificate Honor Program for Affordable Housing Leaders in the United States, 2008)
  • Rutgers Law School (J.D., 1997) Cofounded law school's first magazine, Rutgers' Perspectives
  • Howard University (B.A., with honors for major, Analytical Philosophy/Languages, 1988)

Admissions

  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
Clerkships

Law clerk to the Honorable Francis J. Orlando, Jr., Superior Court, New Jersey

Community Involvement

Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ Chapter for Girl Scout Nation’s Capital (Troop leader and volunteer, 2010-present)

Professional Memberships
  • American Bar Association, Real Property, Probate & Trust Section (Chair, Leadership Task Force, 2017-Present; Co-chair, REIT Committee, 2015-2016; Chair of the Affordable Housing Committee, 2011-2012)
  • American Bar Association, Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law- (Governing Board Member, 2015-Present)
  • Women in International Trade (Chair, Foreign Investment Committee, 2016-present)
  • Georgetown University Law Center (Public/Private Partnership Task Force, 2014-2015)
  • Maryland State Bar Association (Member, 2013-present)
  • District of Columbia Bar Association (Pro Bono Program Volunteer Attorney, 2014-present)
  • Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland (Volunteer Attorney, 2015-present)

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