Kristin Smith is a member of the firm’s COVID-19 Taskforce, a cross-disciplinary team of attorneys dedicated to advising employers on the many workplace law aspects of the global coronavirus pandemic.
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.
- Assist Independent school with sexual misconduct investigation
- 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 - present
- Dress for Success Houston, Advisory Board Member, 2011 - present
- Episcopal High School, Volunteer, 2007 - present
- St. Luke's Day School, Volunteer, 2012 - 2015
- St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Endowment Board, 2009 - 2010
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- Independent Schools Association of the Southwest, 2019.
- National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference, 2019.
- NBOA Annual Meeting National Business Officers Association), 2019.
- National Association of Episcopal Schools Biennial Conference, 2018.
- “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
- SCOTUS Upholds Broad Standard For Permitting Religious Exemption From Employment Discrimination Claims7.8.20