Laura R. Smith is an Independence Foundation Fellow and Staff Attorney in the Homeownership and Consumer Rights Unit at Community Legal Services. Her project focuses on consumer and economic justice for low-income Philadelphians by defending against abusive collections practices, preserving income, and improving access and due process in Municipal Court.
Prior to joining CLS, she 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, Ms. Smith 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 first 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.
Ms. Smith graduated from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and received her BA from the University of Pittsburgh in 2009.