Donnell Smith was born and raised in the City of St. Louis. A product of the St. Louis Public Schools, He graduated from Soldan High School in 1986. He graduated from Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History Political Science in 1989. After a year of teaching 8th grade English in Capital Heights Maryland, he enrolled in Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University where he earned his J.D. in 1993.
In 1993, Donnell served for two years as judicial law clerk to the Honorable Shellie F. Bower, Judge of the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. In 1995, he moved back to St. Louis and opened the Law Offices of Donnell Smith & Associates, LLC. For over fifteen years, he has practiced in several areas of trial and transactional law. He focuses in municipal law and litigation. He is currently the City Attorney and Prosecutor for the City of Berkeley, the City Attorney for Moline Acres, Pine Lawn, City of Velda Village Hills, and Kinloch; Municipal Judge for City of Greendale; General Counsel for the Carr Square Tenant Management Corporation, and former City Attorney for Country Club Hills.
Donnell is licensed to practice in Missouri, Washington D.C., United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, and the Eastern District of Missouri Federal District Court. He is a member of the American Bar Association, Mound City Bar Association, National Bar Association, and Missouri Municipal Attorneys Association.