Law Firm News

Pioneering Leadership Institute Changing Education Landscape: Lozano Smith and CVELI Lead the Way

Fresno, Calif., (September 24, 2014) - Lozano Smith, LLP, a leading California education and public agency law firm, is pleased to announce a continuation of its 10-year partnership with the Central Valley Educational Leadership Institute (CVELI) located at California State University, Fresno. CVELI is designed to improve program quality in educational communities and provide equal access to learning for all students.

Lozano Smith first partnered with CVELI in 2004 and has sustained a high level of involvement with more than $200,000 donated during the ten year period. The law firm continues to elevate its involvement by providing regional trainings and legal workshops to CVELI members. The partnership between Lozano Smith and CVELI is set to become strategically enhanced with CVELI's recently adopted, in-depth focus on educational policy. Integrating new ideas such as the firm's regular Legal Workshops has already made a significant impact on district leaders' legal understanding of issues. CVELI's programs and initiatives include:
  • Rural School Districts Network - engages rural Superintendents and their leadership teams in professional learning and networking focused on improving achievement and closing the achievement gap.

  • Middle Leaders Program - designed for certificated and classified middle managers focuses on team-building, leading change and creating positive work environments.

  • REAL - prepares aspiring California State University (CSU) leaders for the challenges and responsibilities of their future roles. REAL participants have been drawn from CSU Fresno, CSU Bakersfield, and CSU Monterey.

  • CVELI's Partnership with Harvard Graduate School of Education - Dr. Richard Elmore, Harvard professor distinguished scholar and writer, is working with CVELI to pilot and implement an innovative training program for school leadership teams to assist them in building a collaborative culture around student learning.

"This partnership reflects the shared goals of both organizations, and is evidence of Lozano Smith's commitment to ensuring California's education standards are consistently raised," said Virginia Boris, Executive Director of CVELI. "The core tenets of CVELI embrace bringing together the best leadership practices for all aspects of the educational system in the San Joaquin Valley, and we believe this is truly possible with partners like Lozano Smith leading the way."

"CVELI's unwavering mission has greatly impacted the education community over the past ten years," said Founding Partner Michael Smith, of Lozano Smith. "Collectively, our focus remains on developing educational leaders and sound policies in an effort to close the achievement gap. We are well on our way thanks in large part to CVELI members and their steadfast commitment to implement systemic change."

In fall 2016, CVELI will add a highly recognized and respected name to its title. CVELI will become the Welty Institute, named after Dr. John Welty, retired long-time President of California State University, Fresno. This wave of change will also bring an association with Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Strategic Educational Research Partnership. The two institutes have partnered to bring a pilot program to fruition in the Clovis Unified School District, based on the engagement of district superintendents and school site principals. Lozano Smith is one of the major sponsors responsible for the realization of this two year training program.


About Lozano Smith
Lozano Smith is a full-service education and public agency law firm serving hundreds of California's K-12 and community college districts, universities, and numerous cities, counties, and special districts. The firm's expertise includes, but is not limited to, personnel matters, labor relations, technology, real property and construction matters, constitutional issues, special education, student discipline, school funding, charter schools, bond elections, governance, and litigation in all areas of representation. Lozano Smith has offices in 8 California locations: Fresno, Los Angeles, Monterey, Petaluma, Redding, Sacramento, San Diego and Walnut Creek. For more information about Lozano Smith or to see full attorney bios, visit or find us on Facebook or Twitter. You can also download the Lozano Smith App.

The aim of CVELI is to bring best leadership practices to all aspects of the education system in the San Joaquin Valley in order to eliminate the achievement gap and raise the performance of all learners. CVELI, along with partners in the educational and business communities, is designed to: initiate and implement systemic change; improve program quality in educational communities; and provide equal access to learning for all students.