Lecturer in Law
Sheniece Smith joined Children’s Hospital Orange County (CHOC) in 2008 as a paralegal and advanced her career as she simultaneously worked her way through law school. Smith graduated cum laude from the University of La Verne College of Law in 2012.
Immediately after passing the bar in 2012, Smith assumed the role of associate counsel at CHOC. In 2014, Smith was promoted to associate general counsel. In this role, she was responsible for the daily operations of the legal department, including general corporate matters, labor matters, regulatory compliance and litigation. She also hired, trained and supervised the legal staff. Smith provided legal counsel to the organization’s leaders through direct advice and oversight of outside counsel on strategic initiatives and various risk issues. In December 2017, Smith was promoted to chief of staff and senior counsel to the CEO. In this role, she continues to provide legal advice to the organization’s leaders while acting as a member of the business team and advancing the priorities of the CEO’s office.
In 2013, Smith founded H.O.P.E. Through Affordable Legal Services as a community benefit project to bridge the gap between pro bono services and full attorney fees by increasing access to quality legal services for low-income individuals. In one year, the law firm assisted nearly 100 underserved individuals.
In 2014, Smith launched Family Legal Assistance at CHOC Children’s, a medical-legal partnership, to provide free guardianship and conservatorship services to CHOC families who otherwise would not be able to afford the services. This program continues to serve approximately 75 patient families each year.
Smith also developed a law clerk program at CHOC to allow students to enhance their legal skills through assisting on projects in the legal department and direct contact with the families receiving services through Family Legal Assistance at CHOC Children’s. Each semester, Smith develops a curriculum designed to maximize the learning opportunities for these students. Smith has mentored many students over the years, appeared as a guest speaker in various classrooms and presented MCLE programs.
Smith teaches online Health Law & Policy for USC Gould School of Law’s LLM and MSL programs.