Leah M. Smith

Education:

B.A., University of California at Berkeley (2009)
J.D., William & Mary Law School, cum laude (2012)

Areas of Expertise:

Special Education; Section 504 Issues; Student and Parent Issues including Student Discipline; Personnel; Investigations; Compliance and Discrimination Complaints

Experience:

Ms. Smith’s practice focuses on advising public school district and county offices of education clients on special education, Section 504, and student discipline/student services. Ms. Smith also advises clients on personnel investigations and discipline, HR matters, sexual harassment and Title IX compliance, FERPA, EEOC and OCR complaints and investigations, and Public Records Act requests.

Prior to joining SCLS, Ms. Smith practiced education law representing public school districts/LEAs as a partner with a private law firm for 8 1/2 years, where she developed expertise in all stages of special education litigation and represented public school districts extensively on matters pending before the Office of Administrative Hearings.

While in law school, Ms. Smith served as the president of the Alternative Dispute Resolution competition team and gained practical experience representing students and parents through the William & Mary special education clinic. Ms. Smith also interned at a non-profit organization advocating for the civil and legal rights of children with intersex traits, as well as for the Sonoma County District Attorney’s office as a certified law clerk.

Ms. Smith is a member of the State Bar of California.

Contact:

Leah M. Smith
School and College Legal Services of California
5350 Skylane Boulevard
Santa Rosa, California 95403
T: (707) 524-2690
F: (707) 578-0517
lsmith@sclscal.org