J. Michael Smith is the President of Home School Legal Defense Association, an organization which he cofounded with Michael Farris in 1983 to protect the right of parents who choose home education as their way to satisfy the compulsory attendance law in the various states and Canada. Home School Legal Defense Association now represents over 80,000 member families. He is an attorney licensed to practice in the states of California, the District of Columbia and Virginia.
Mike received his undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas and his Juris Doctorate from the University of San Diego. After serving two years as a Deputy City Attorney assigned to the Criminal Division in San Diego, he went into private practice specializing in personal injury and criminal defense.
After he and his wife, Elizabeth, decided to home school their children, Mike became involved in defending the rights of home schoolers in California. It became glaringly apparent that home educators could not afford attorneys, and as a result, Home School Legal Defense Association was established to defend and advance the constitutional rights of parents to direct the education of their children and protect family freedom.
He and his wife have four children. Their oldest daughter, Kari, is a paralegal in San Francisco. Their next daughter, Chrissy, was their first homeschool graduate and is a graduate of UCLA. Their two youngest children, Andrew and Erin, were also homeschooled and graduated from George Mason University.
Mike has a simple purpose and message for his life work: Faith, family, and freedom.
“We just really appreciated the candidness of Mike Smith. He gave real life situations with good answers and we liked following along with the notes. This was very helpful. THANKS!”— Sheri, TX