Cooperative Solutions And Customized Legal Advocacy
Nicole Grae Smith
- Family Law
- Adoptions, including Confirmatory Adoptions, Second-Parent Adoptions, and Stepparent Adoptions
- Child Support and Spousal Support (Alimony)
- Custody & Visitation
- Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
- Property Division
- Registered Domestic Partnerships
- Same Sex / LGBTQ Family Law
Attorney Nicole “Nico” Grae Smith is a 2013 graduate of Golden Gate University School of Law, graduating in the top 20% of her class with distinction in Family Law. She holds a bachelor’s degree from American Jewish University, where she graduated magna cum laude in Communications, Arts, and Advocacy. She previously owned and operated the Law Office of Nicole Grae Smith. Prior to operating her own firm, she was the managing attorney for Berg and Associates in Redding and an associate attorney for the Reape Rickett Law Firm in Los Angeles. Named one of Northern California's "Rising Stars" every year for the last seven years, Nico has handled cases in Sonoma, Shasta, Lake, Butte, Tehama, Siskiyou, Trinity, Modoc, Humboldt, Glenn, Alameda, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco counties.
Prior to moving to Northern California, Nico volunteered as a pro bono attorney for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles at the Santa Monica Domestic Violence and Family Law Clinic, helping clients obtain restraining orders, as well as dissolutions, paternity actions, spousal support, child custody and support. She also assisted the Asian Pacific Islander Community Outreach Clinic by drafting declarations and necessary forms for monolingual Japanese speaking clients as well as Japanese translation assistance for immigration interviews.
While in law school, Nico taught legal research classes to incarcerated persons in the San Francisco jails, worked with an environmental organization to ensure proper adherence to environmental regulations, and fought to prevent unjust evictions with a housing rights clinic.
Outside of the practice of law, Nico has a vibrant and exciting life with her blended family of five children and loving partner Carrie-Lynn. With their four cats, three dogs, and two birds, their household is never quiet! Nico is also a volunteer firefighter for South Lake County Fire Protection District and was formerly an EMT for DEMA in Santa Rosa.
Dedicated to handling challenging and unusual cases, Nico finds great joy in deescalating cases that have previously seemed unresolvable. Her mentor once told her, “All I know about family law is divide by two!” and while it’s supposed to be that simple, Nico understands it rarely is. Family is important. If there’s been a breakdown, it is crucial to have an attorney who understands the need for both delicate handling and vigorous advocacy. Nico is aware that if a client is seeking formal counsel, something has likely gone wrong and delicate, thoughtful assistance is necessary. Nico strives to be an approachable human being, not just a degree in a suit. Her goal is for her clients to feel safe to both laugh and cry while working on the case. The legal process does not need to be terrible.
- Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco, California
- J.D. - 2013
- Honors: Distinction in Family Law
- American Jewish University, Los Angeles, CA
- Honors: magna cum laude
- Major: Communications
- Minor: Bio Ethics and Natural Sciences
- Law Office of Nicole Grae Smith, 2020 to 2023
- Lake Indigent Defense, 2021 to 2022
- Berg and Associates, 2015 to 2020
- California State Bar, Member
- Sonoma County Bar Association, Member
- Lake County Bar Association, Member
- California Lawyers Association, Member
Current Employment Position
- Associate Attorney