2020 conference Reimagined -  Pre-Conference Session

The Pre-Conference Session will be held Friday, January 29, 8 AM to 2 PM.

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Legal and Ethics

Brian Smith, Harben, Hartley & Hawkins 

School counselors often find themselves in the center of a variety of issues with potential legal ramifications.  This session will cover many of those topics, including mandated reporting, enrollment and withdrawal, FERPA, privacy and confidentiality, liability, and continuing issues relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Brian Smith obtained his J.D. Degree from the University of Georgia Law School in 2004.  He served on the Editorial Board and as Senior Articles editor of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law while at UGA Law School.

Brian joined the firm presently known as Harben, Hartley & Hawkins in 2004.  Since 1980, the firm has represented public school systems throughout the state, presently serving approximately 120 of the 180 school districts in the state in some capacity.  Additionally, the firm serves as general counsel to the Georgia School Boards Association and as legal advisor to the Georgia School Superintendents Association, the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders and other professional educational leadership groups throughout the state. 

Brian is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, the Supreme Court of Georgia, Georgia Court of Appeals, and the Northern and Middle federal district courts in the state of Georgia.

He is a member of the National Council of School Attorneys and the Georgia Council of School Attorneys, and has presented to school districts and educational associations across the state on various legal issues.