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Vigilance in the Defense of Liberty and Freedom
Leticia Smith-Evans joined LDF in July 2008. As Senior Counsel, Leticia primarily advocates for access to equal educational opportunities at the pre-K through higher education levels via impact litigation, policy advocacy and technical assistance. Much of her work centers around voluntary integration, desegregation, access to higher education and school discipline reform.
As a racial and social justice advocate, Leticia has successfully litigated and mediated complex cases in trial and appellate state and federal courts nationwide. She frequently speaks and writes on the importance of identifying racial and gender disparities in education and explores effective means of addressing those disparities. She is a proponent of utilizing multi-stakeholder approaches to ensure equal access to educational opportunities and is a member of a number of related collaborative efforts. Her research interests include intersections of diversity, equity, educational access and achievement; and law, policy and education.
Prior to joining LDF, Leticia was a litigation associate at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Dickinson R. Debevoise of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, and a policy advisor and agency liaison to former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle. Leticia has served as adjunct faculty at a number of educational institutions, including the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School of Education. She is a former public school teacher.
Leticia received her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School where she was the recipient of the Wisconsin State Bar/Law School Academic Award for highest achievement in constitutional law and the Brown v. Board of Education Award for outstanding commitment to equal educational opportunity and social justice. She also received her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis and an M.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Leticia received her B.A. from Williams College in History and completed concentrations in African-American and Women’s and Gender Studies. She is a member of the University of Wisconsin Law School’s Board of Visitors, and serves on a number of other nonprofit boards and committees.