Leticia Smith-Evans is Interim Director of LDF’s Education Practice, which uses legal, policy and legislative advocacy to ensure access to equal educational opportunities at the pre-K through higher education levels. At LDF, Leticia challenges discriminatory programs that negatively impact students and supports policies designed to promote critical opportunities for all students. Leticia has successfully litigated and mediated complex cases in trial and appellate state and federal courts nationwide. She is a proponent of utilizing multi-stakeholder approaches to close educational opportunity gaps, and frequently speaks and writes on eliminating racial, gender and other disparities in 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. She 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 also a former public elementary school teacher.
Leticia received her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School where she awarded for highest achievement in constitutional law and for her outstanding commitment to equal educational opportunity and social justice. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis 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.