Kristin Smith’s practice focuses exclusively on independent and private schools. She advises, counsels and represents religious and secular schools, including those serving pre-kindergarten-grade 12, kindergarten-grade 8, grades 6/7 – 12, and grades 9 – 12.
Kristin assists schools in a variety of areas, including student and employee discipline; faculty, staff and student contract drafting; handbook and policy drafting, implementation, and enforcement; LGBTQ issues, including transgender students and employees; board governance and training; discrimination claims and EEOC charges; administration and faculty training and development; school entanglement in family court proceedings; and, investigations, litigation, arbitration and mediation.
She is a frequent presenter to independent school associations on current legal issues.
- Independent K – 8 school — advice regarding transgender student
- School Board of Trustees — leading retreat regarding LGBTQ issues in independent schools
- Independent K – 12 school — advice regarding transgender teacher
- Independent K – 8 religious school — representing in litigation between associated church and
governing body over property ownership
- Independent K – 12 school — advice on child protective services reporting obligations
- Independent Pre-k – 12 school — conducting investigation regarding alleged sexual misconduct
- Independent Pre-k – 12 school — review and revising student and employee handbooks and contracts
- Independent K – 12 school — counsel regarding inappropriate cyber behavior by students and parents
- Independent K – 8 religious school — analyzing and revising bylaws and articles of incorporation
- Board of Trustees of international Pre-k – 12 school — governance training
- Private school Board of Trustees — research regarding starting a technical high school
- Independent K – 12 school — arbitration on construction defect claim
Honors & Leadership
- Texas State Bar Association
- Minnesota State Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- The Awty International School, Volunteer, 2015 - 2017
- Dress for Success Houston, Advisory Board Member, 2011 - 2017
- Episcopal High School, Volunteer, 2007 - 2017
- St. Luke's Day School, Volunteer, 2012 - 2015
- St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Endowment Board, 2009 - 2010
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- “LGBTQ Issues in Independent Schools,” Independent Schools Association of the Southwest, 2017.
- “LGBTQ Considerations for Episcopal Schools,” National Association of Episcopal Schools, 2016.
- “This Year’s A,B,Cs of Independent School Legal Issues,” Houston Association of Independent Schools, 2016.
- “LGBTQ Issues in Independent Schools,” Georgia Independent School Association, 2016.
- “The Intersection of Technology and the Law in Independent Schools,” Independent Schools Association of the Southwest, 2015.
- “LGBTQ Issues in Independent Schools,” Southern Association of Independent Schools, 2015.
- “Independent School Admissions and the Law,” Houston Association of Independent Schools, 2015.
- “Head of School Contracts,” Atlanta Area Association of Independent Schools, 2015.
- “10 Tidbits You Should Know About Independent School Law: Quirky Questions We’ve Received,” Houston Association of Independent Schools, 2014.
- “Investigating Sexual Misconduct in Your School,” Independent Schools Association of the Southwest, 2013.
- “Hot Topics in Independent Schools,” Houston Association of Independent Schools, 2012