Lauren Stocks-Smith focuses her practice on employment litigation and counseling for a wide variety of public and private sector clients, including independent schools, public charter schools, state and local government entities, financial services providers, and nonprofits. Lauren helps employers litigate, arbitrate, and mediate disputes, with a particular focus on discrimination, retaliation, and wage and hour claims. She also conducts independent investigations and helps clients navigate investigations initiated by state and federal enforcement entities, including the Department of Justice.
Lauren has helped manage federal and state litigation at all stages, including fact investigations, depositions, expert discovery, and trial preparation. She has defended clients in administrative actions before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and related state and local agencies. Lauren regularly works with clients to avoid litigation by developing and implementing comprehensive personnel policies and by strengthening employee and executive contracts. She has trained managers and staff on topics such as Title IX compliance, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) best practices, and investigating workplace complaints.
Lauren maintains an active pro bono practice. She helped secure the release and exoneration of a DC resident who spent 24 years in prison for a murder he did not commit—a case featured in the National Registry of Exonerations and the Washington Post. In 2019, Lauren received Venable’s Benjamin R. Civiletti Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year Award.
Lauren represents clients in post-conviction proceedings under DC’s Innocence Protection Act, Incarceration Reduction Amendment Act, and Unjust Imprisonment Act. She also provides employment advice pro bono to local community organizations.