Carole A. Smith
Ms. Carole Smith began work in Family Law in 1974 as a paralegal to several prominent family lawyers in Sacramento. After receiving her Bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley, she returned to Sacramento to attend the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law. Ms. Smith was admitted to the practice of law in California in 1995 and has been an active member of the Family Law bar ever since.
Ms. Smith received honors for her work on the Pacific Law Journal (now McGeorge Law Review), including Best Comment Writer Award for her article on the one of the California Supreme Court's earliest surrogacy cases, the groundbreaking Johnson v. Calvert (1993) 5 Cal.4th 84. She also served as Articles Editor for this prestigious journal during her last year of law school.
After admission to the California bar, Ms. Smith went directly into private practice, focusing exclusively on the issues facing families as they struggle to find their way through the complex family court system. She has worked extensively on issues including property rights and division in divorce, child and spousal support, child custody, step-parent adoption, and guardianship. Ms. Smith is acutely aware of both the legal and emotional impacts that a custody dispute can have on the entire family. She believes that the needs of the youngest members of a separating family must be afforded as much care and attention as their parents. With this in mind, Ms. Smith has served for many years on the Sacramento County Minor's Counsel panel, appointed by the Family Law judges to represent children in high-conflict custody cases. She has been a member of the Sacramento County Bar Association Minor's Counsel Executive Committee since 2002, and assisted in the planning and conduct of the Minor's Counsel training in 2008 and 2011.
In these difficult economic times, many people find they cannot afford an attorney to help them through their divorce or custody case, and staff reductions at all governmental levels make the legal process even more difficult for the unrepresented party. Ms. Smith has made a commitment to a variety of programs providing mediation and settlement assistance through the courts, including volunteering with the Sacramento Pro Bono Mediation Program.
With her extensive background and experience in the area of child custody, Ms. Smith can provide parents with quality legal advice, as well as much-needed emotional support, during the most difficult and trying of circumstances. She can provide expertise and guidance through the entire course of a dissolution, and is also available for engagement on a limited scope or "unbundled" basis - a relatively new innovation in legal representation which can provide access to legal services on a limited basis and at a more affordable level.