Sarah L. Garcia

Partner | San Luis Obispo

Attorney Insights
Tel: 805.471.7080
Fax: 805.930.1031
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Sarah L. Garcia is the Office Managing Partner of Lozano Smith's San Luis Obispo Office. Ms. Garcia specializes in Special Education and Student law.


Her representation has included prevailing on behalf of school district clients as both Petitioner and Respondent before OAH and supporting those cases through successful appeals at the Ninth Circuit. Representative cases on which Ms. Garcia prevailed included issues related to least restrictive environment, the district's right to assess, deaf education, appropriateness of IEP goals, appropriateness of District assessments, behavior support, inclusion, requests for private schools and private services, and the appropriateness of related services offered including ABA, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and assistive technology support.

Prior to joining Lozano Smith, Ms. Garcia worked as Special Counsel in the San Francisco area where she represented school districts in due process hearings, expulsion proceedings, special education mediations, and on-site OCR investigations.

Presenter Experience

Ms. Garcia has presented at the ACSA Special Education Symposium on a variety of topics including Deaf Education, Serving Students in the Least Restrictive Environment, and Language Access. Additionally, she was the keynote speaker for the first ever Stanislaus County Autism Conference. She presents annually at Lozano Smith's Special Education Legal Consortium and regularly for districts and SELPAs.


Ms. Garcia teaches a School Law course in the Mills College graduate program.

AB 2508: Reimagining Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services in Schools

By: Sarah GarciaKaitlyn Tucker-

Student Not Entitled to Receive Medical ABA Therapy on Campus from Private Provider

By: Sarah GarciaRoxana Khan-

UPDATE: Parentally-Placed Private School Students Are Not Entitled to IEP Unless They Request One

By: Sarah GarciaRoxana KhanKarina Demirchyan-

AB 309 & SB 224: Addressing Student Mental Health in The Wake of COVID-19

By: Sarah GarciaKaitlyn Tucker-

COVID-19 Presents New Challenges for Complying with Child Find Obligations

By: Sarah Garcia-

Governor Signs Two Bills Affecting High School Students, Vetoes a Third

By: Sarah Garcia-

SB 98, COVID-19 and Special Education: What's Next?

By: Sarah GarciaJennifer Baldassari-

Special Considerations for Students with Exceptional Needs Related to School Closures Due to COVID-19

By: Sarah Garcia-

Ninth Circuit Upholds Decision To Expel Student For Creating A "Hit List" And Solidifies Standard For Student Discipline For Off-Campus Expression.

By: Sarah Garcia-

New Laws Grant Diplomas To Terminally Ill And Students That Have Departed California

By: Sarah Garcia-

Pregnant and Parenting Pupils Afforded New Accommodations Beginning January 1, 2019

By: Sarah GarciaMichelle Sliwa-

Juvenile Court School Students Gain New Educational Options

By: Sarah Garcia-

California Adds "Nonbinary" Gender Option to Identification Documents, Impacting All Public Entities

By: Dulcinea GranthamSarah GarciaJoshua Whiteside-

Schools May Discipline Students for "Liking" Offensive, Targeted Social Media Posts

By: Sarah GarciaJoshua Whiteside-

Restraints - How the Law Guides Some of the Most Challenging Classroom Decisions

By: Sarah GarciaRoxana Khan-

In a wide ranging discussion on a sensitive and challenging topic, Devon Lincoln discusses the law regarding the use of restraints in school with special education attorneys Sarah Garcia and Roxana Khan. The attorneys discuss real world experiences, the law that applies in this area, and how staff and administrators can best approach these difficult issues.