Dawn R. Smith

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Family Law Attorney in Decatur, GA

Smith & Lake LLC
 | One West Court Square, Suite 410
Decatur, GA 30030
Phone: 404-909-8300
Fax: 404-719-5960
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2018
Licensed Since: 1990
Practice Areas:
  • Family Law (80%),
  • Schools & Education (20%)
Attorney Profile

A co-founder of Smith & Lake, LLC, Dawn R. Smith focuses her practice primarily on family law. Located in Decatur, Georgia, she provides representation to residents throughout the greater Atlanta metropolitan area who are contemplating or going through a divorce and who thus need to deal with related matters such as the division of complex assets and debts, child support, alimony, and child custody and visitation. Ms. Smith has often been appointed as guardian ad litem for children in custody and other family law litigation, and she is a certified mediator and arbitrator.

Other family law matters that Ms. Smith has experience in include paternity disputes, fathers' rights, adoptions, and the preparation and review of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. She also helps obtain protective orders for clients who have become the victim of domestic violence. In addition to family law, Ms. Smith has a background in special education, representing parents of disabled children in matters involving Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Her successful track record and high degree of ethics have earned her a 10.0 "Superb" peer-review rating from Avvo.

As an undergraduate, Ms. Smith attended North Carolina State University, where she majored in business administration and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in 1985. She then pursued her legal education at Georgia State University College of Law, where she was a member of the Georgia State University Law Review before being awarded her Juris Doctor cum laude in 1989. After graduation, Ms. Smith served a clerkship with a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia before entering private practice. She is a fellow of the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

 
Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Family Law (80%): Adoption, Alimony & Spousal Support, Child Support, Custody & Visitation, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Name Change, Paternity, Prenuptial Agreements, Marital Property, Mediation & Collaborative Law, Same Sex Family Law, Father's Rights

Schools & Education (20%): Education

Focus Areas

Adoption, Alimony & Spousal Support, Child Support, Custody & Visitation, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Name Change, Paternity, Prenuptial Agreements, Marital Property, Mediation & Collaborative Law, Same Sex Family Law, Father's Rights, Education

Selections

Selected to Super Lawyers for 5 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2018

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About Dawn Smith

Admitted: 1990, Georgia

Professional Webpage: http://smithlakelaw.com/dawn-smith-2/

Honors and Awards:

  • Volunteer of the Year , Atlanta Legal Aid Society, 2016
  • Founder’s Award, Cool Girls Inc, 2014
  • Top 100 Super Lawyers in Georgia
  • Super Lawyers® list of Top 50 Women in Georgia
  • Georgia Trend Legal Elite Top Lawyers, Georgia Trend Magazine

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certified Arbitrator and Mediator

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Board of Directors, DeKalb Volunteer Lawyers Foundation , 2016
  • Board of Directors, Family Law Section, Atlanta Bar Association , 2016
  • Lawyers Club of Atlanta, Member
  • American Bar Association, Family Law Section, Member
  • Georgia Bar, Family Law Section, Member
  • Charles Weltner Inn of Court, Barrister
  • Atlanta, Cobb, DeKalb County and Sandy Springs Bar Associations, Member
  • Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Past President
  • Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Board of Director
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Member

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Ethics & Professionalism Subcommittee of the Executive Committee of the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia
  • Holy Comforter Episcopal Church, Member
  • Emmaus House, Advisory Board
  • Autism Society of America, Board of the Greater Georgia Chapter
  • Cool Girls, Inc., Founder
  • Leadership Atlanta, Graduate
  • Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, Deputy Director

Scholarly Lectures and Writings:

  • Speaker, Third Party Custody Actions , Georgia Superior Court Judges Winter Conference, 2017
  • Speaker, Sexual Abuse Allegations and Custody , Georgia Superior Court Judges Winter Conference, 2016
  • Presenter, Substance Abuse and Parenting, Association Of Family And Conciliatory Courts Annual Conference, 2015
  • Speaker, Special Education and Custody, Georgia Superior Court Judges Summer Conference, 2015
  • Speaker, Substance Abuse and Parenting, Georgia Superior Court Judges Winter Conference, 2015
  • Pro Bono March Madness 2014, Presenter, Volunteer Guardians ad Litem, Atlanta Bar Associaition, 2014
  • 2014 Family Law Institute, Presenter, Special Needs/Special Education in Custody and Support Cases, Family Law Institute, 2014
  • Presenter, Fertile Ground: Cross Examination and Direct of Custody Evaluator , Family Law Section, Georgia Bar Association, 2013
  • Presenter, Guardian Ad Litem Training , Atlanta Bar Association, 2013
  • Presenter, Guardian Ad Litem Training, Atlanta Bar Association, 2012
  • Presenter,  Effective Use of Guardian ad Litems and the Emergence of Parenting Coodinators, Georgia Bar Association, Family Law Section, 2011
  • Presenter , Family Law for the Low Income Client , Atlanta Bar Association, 2010
  • Writer, Guardian ad Litem Manual, 2010
  • Program Chair and Lecturer, Guardian ad Litem Training, Atlanta Bar Association, 2010
  • Presenter , Compensatory Education , Council Of Parent Attorneys And Advocates, 2010
  • Presenter , Domestic Violence Law , Atlanta Bar Association, 2009
  • Program Chair and Lecturer , Guardian ad Litem Training , Atlanta Bar Association, 2009
  • Program Chair and Lecturer , Guardian ad Litem Training, Atlanta Bar Association, 2008
  • Program Chair and Lecturer, Guardian ad Litem Training , Atlanta Bar Association, 2007
  • Presenter, IDEA Changes in a Nutshell, ICLE Georgia, 2005
  • Co-Author, Georgia School Law Manual , 2004
  • Presenter, Bringing Georgia Special Education Law into Focus, MEDS/PDN, 2004
  • Presenter, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Lorman, 2003
  • Presenter, Special Education Law , National Business Institute, 2002
  • Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates – Advanced Advocate Training, ADHD, Compensatory Servicers, Transition – Lecturer – 2003, 2005, 2008
  • Fulton County Juvenile Court – Discipline and Special Needs – Lecturer – 2001
  • Lorman Education Services – Asperger’s Syndrome, Family Education Rights and Privacy – Lecturer – 2003, 2005
  • Marcus Institute – Update on IDEA – Lecturer- 2005
  • ICLE Georgia – School and College Law, Special Needs Trusts, Due Process Hearings, Administrative Law – Lecturer – 2005, 2004
  • 10th Judicial Circuit, Guardian ad Litem Training – Program Chair and Lecturer – 2007,
  • Fulton County Superior Court, Family Division, Guardian ad Litem Training for GeorgiaAssociation of Black Female Lawyers – June 2007 – Program Chair and Lecturer
  • Georgia Psychological Association – Custody Evaluator Training – December 2009 – Lecturer
  • National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder - Legal Issues for Families – Lecturer – 2012
  • Georgia Bar Association, Family Law Section – Nuts and Bolts of Family Law – Lecturer – 2012
  • Trainer, New Attorney Training, 2012, 2013, Council Of Parent Attorneys And Advocates 2011
  • Cobb County Bar Association – Guardian ad Litem Training – Ethics and the GAL – Lecturer – 2013
  • Council of Superior Court Judges 2015 Winter Conference “Special Needs, Special Education in Custody and Support” January 21, 2015, Athens, GA
  • ICLE Special Needs Trust "Special Education Law Basics" February 11, 2015, State Bar of Georgia Conference Center, Atlanta
  • Tropical Seminar "Impact of Cheating and Drinking in Family Law, Does it Really Matter?" February 12-14, 2015
  • Georgia Superior Court Judges Summer Conference & Educational Sessions "Substance Abuse and Custody" July 27-30, 2015

Newsletters:

  • Style Editor, Georgia State Law Review

Educational Background:

  • North Carolina State University, BA Business Management, 1985

Industry Groups

  • American Academy Of Matrimonial Lawyers
Office Location for Dawn R. Smith

One West Court Square
Suite 410
Decatur, GA 30030

Phone: 404-909-8300

Fax: 404-719-5960

 

Dawn R. Smith:

Last Updated: 6/18/2018

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