Kristen Smith, Former Syracuse Corporation Counsel, Returns to Bond

April 6, 2022

(Syracuse, NY): Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that Kristen E. Smith, who most recently served as Corporation Counsel for the City of Syracuse, has returned as a member in the labor and employment practice at Bond in its Syracuse office. Smith joined Bond in 2005 and in 2018 she was appointed by Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh as Corporation Counsel for the City of Syracuse. She will once again work with private and public sector employers on labor and employment matters. 

As Corporation Counsel, Smith oversaw all legal affairs for the city, supervising a law department of 18 attorneys. She directly advised the Mayor, Common Council and department heads (including the police and fire chiefs) on wide ranging legal issues, with a particular focus on employment and labor issues, including employee relations and discipline, labor contract interpretation and compliance, civil service compliance, labor negotiations, workplace investigations and employment litigation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she helped negotiate concessions with the city’s labor unions to avoid widespread furloughs and ensure the continuation of critical city services. 

While at the City of Syracuse, Smith also negotiated the city’s acquisition of its street-light network as well as the city’s first 5G license agreement with a major national telecommunications firm, helping Syracuse earn its designation as New York’s Flagship Smart City. She also made significant contributions to police-reform initiatives, including the revision of policing policies on use of force and body-worn cameras. 

“Kristen is a valued member of Bond and we are thrilled that she is returning after her term as Corporation Counsel for Syracuse,” Kevin Bernstein, Bond’s managing member, said. “I am sure that her contributions to the City, experience in this position and insight into municipal matters will help her clients here at Bond.”

Smith is a graduate of Syracuse University College of Law (J.D., summa cum laude, 2005) and Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations (B.S., 1996).

Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC is a law firm with 250 lawyers serving individuals, companies, nonprofits and public sector entities in a broad range of practice areas. Bond has nine offices in New York State as well as offices in Boston, Kansas City, Naples, Florida, and Red Bank, New Jersey.