Laura R. Smith (she/her) is a Staff Attorney in CLS’s Homeownership and Consumer Rights Unit. She works toward economic justice for low-income Philadelphians by defending against abusive collections practices, preserving income and inter-generational financial stability, and advocating for improved access and due process in Municipal Court.
Laura joined Community Legal Services as an Independence Foundation Fellow. Prior to joining CLS, Laura served as a law clerk to the Honorable Gerald A. McHugh of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and to the Honorable Lisa M. Rau of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia. During law school, she was active in direct service clinics focusing on consumer justice, public benefits, and access to justice for immigrants in detention. She began her legal career as a paralegal in 2010, working at CLS and later at Philadelphia Legal Assistance, CLS’s sister organization. She has also worked in policy and direct service roles with immigrant communities in Pittsburgh.
Laura graduated from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and earned her BA from the University of Pittsburgh.