Dawn Smith

Dawn Smith

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Dawn has practiced many types of law over the past 20+ years, but family law is closest to her heart. She finds it very rewarding to help families, whether it is the hard task of finding the easiest way to terminate the family unit or a joyous task, such as adding one to it, through adoption. She understands there is nothing easy about a divorce and tries to help keep the waters calm, if at all possible, while guiding her clients through such issues as custody, child support, visitation, alimony and property division, so that there is as little upheaval in the family's lives as possible. Of course, that is not always possible and she is ready to assist you in litigating these issues as well. Other areas of family law in which she practices include guardianship, establishment of paternity, termination of parental rights, enforcement of support, grandparent rights and conservatorships.

Dawn also practices in several other areas of the law. She has been certified as a Guardian ad Litem and practices in both Chancery and Youth Court. A Guardian ad Litem is a person who is appointed by the Court to be a child's attorney and/or to be an arm of the Court who speaks with children and their families and then reports back to the Court as to what would serve the child's best interest. She also prepares last wills and testaments, advance directives and powers of attorney for those who want their last wishes known. The last will and testament disburses a person's assets at their death, in accordance with their wishes; the advance directive lets a person's family know how he wants to be treated during a final illness and a power of attorney is put into use if a person is incapable of handling her own affairs. Dawn also has experience and is available to help you with Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Social Security Disability.

Dawn grew up in Gulfport, Mississippi, and graduated from Gulfport High School in 1980. She then attended the University of Southern Mississippi where she received her BS in Elementary Education in 1984. She taught school in Gulfport for nine years before returning to law school at Loyola University in New Orleans in 1991. She attended night school at Loyola, while teaching in Gulfport for the first two years. She then relocated to New Orleans and finished law school while working as a law clerk at F. Gerald Maples, PA, in New Orleans. After law school graduation in 1995, she continued with the Maples law firm until she returned to Mississippi in 2002 to be closer to family. She worked as a paralegal with Parsons Law Office in Stone County, Mississippi until she took the Mississippi bar examination in 2005. She then spent four years handling real estate closings for Elite Title Insurance Company and then for herself at SeaSide Title Company in Biloxi. At the end of 2009, she returned to work for Parsons Law Office as an attorney, where she remained until starting work with the Ellis Law Firm. She lives in D'Iberville, MS with her husband, real estate broker, J. Neal Olive and their dogs, Oliver and George Henry.

Areas of Practice

  • Family Law
  • Probate & Estates/Will, advance directive & power of attorney preparation
  • Youth Court/Guardian Ad Litem
  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Social Security Disability

Litigation Percentage

  • 65% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Louisiana, 1995


  • Loyola University New Orleans School of Law, New Orleans, Louisiana
    • J.D. - 1995
  • University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
    • B.S. - 1984
    • Major: Elementary Education

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Mississippi Bar Association, 2005 - Present

Past Employment Positions

  • Parsons Law Office, Associate, 2009 - 2015
  • SeaSide Title Company, LLC, Owner, 2006 - 2009
  • Elite Title Insurance Company, Associate, 2004 - 2006
  • Parsons Law Office, Paralegal, 2002 - 2004
  • F. Gerald Maples, PA/LeBlanc, Maples & Waddell, Associate, 1993 - 2002
  • Gulfport School Systems, Teacher, 1984 - 1993


  • Phi Mu