Leah M. Smith serves as Of Counsel to Garcia Hernández Sawhney, LLP in the San Francisco Bay Area office and is a cum laude graduate of William & Mary School of Law. She is a member of the Firm’s education and public law groups.
Ms. Smith’s practice focuses primarily on advising public school districts, charter schools, and county office of educations on special education, Section 504, student discipline/student services, and Title IX. Ms. Smith also advises clients on personnel investigations and discipline, HR matters, sexual harassment, FERPA, and EEOC and OCR complaints, and Board governance.
Ms. Smith has over a decade of experience in representing clients in all stages of special education litigation, including on matters pending before the Office of Administrative Hearings. Ms. Smith is also experienced in advising and representing clients through the entire student expulsion hearing process and on appeals before county boards of education regarding student expulsions and interdistrict transfers.
Ms. Smith is a frequent and enthusiastic presenter on legal topics ranging from Title IX compliance, investigations, mandated reporting, and supporting transgender student to topics within student discipline, special education, and Section 504.
Ms. Smith lives in Sonoma County with her family, where she is also a birth doula and substitute teacher.
- William & Mary School of Law – J.D., Cum Laude
- University of California, Berkeley – B.A. History: African-American Race Relations, High Honors
- Practice Regions:
Special Education, Negotiation, Mediation, Title IX, Student Discipline and Student Issues, Section 504, Investigations, Board Governance, Trainings