California Attorneys

Cedar Law’s experienced school law attorneys have diverse backgrounds and specializations but share a passion for equity, diversity, and education. Read more about our education attorneys below.

Ryan Ford, Partner. Ryan joined Cedar Law in 2023.  Prior to joining Cedar, Ryan spent the past six years managing his own law firm providing representation to students and parents in the public school, charter school, private school, college, and university settings. He is licensed to practice law in Washington and California.  Ryan received his Juris Doctor degree from University of San Diego School of Law, where he clerked in the Education and Disability Legal Clinic. Ryan works on a wide range of education legal issues with his primary focus being on special education and disability related matters. He is particularly experienced in handling federal appeals of special education matters and prevailed in a published state appellate decision on a Washington Public Records Act matter. more.

Lara Hruska, Founding Partner Lara founded Cedar Law based on a holistic approach to school law informed by her unique background in education, social work, and the law. She is licensed to practice law in Washington and California. Lara received her JD from the University of Washington School of Law and also holds an MSW in Child and Family Welfare Policy from Columbia University, an MSEd in Special and General Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education, and a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from U.C. Berkeley. more




Michael (Mike) Smith, Partner Michael (Mike) Smith is a Partner who joined Cedar Law in 2021.  He jumped at the chance to return to a practice dedicated to serving and supporting children, families and others in the education and school settings. Prior to his most recent two year stint working as a Senior Deputy City Attorney with the City of Oakland, CA, Mike served as in-house counsel for the Oakland Unified School District (“OUSD”) for 14 years.  He advised school district leadership and staff at all levels on contracting, open meetings law, claims, litigation, employment, public records requests, conflict of interest and other matters. more.  

Elicia Johnson, Partner Elicia joined Cedar Law in 2019. Prior to that, she spent 20 years as a corporate attorney with a focus on employment matters. She came to Cedar Law seeking to transition her career to one that serves children, students, and educators and advances civil liberties. She graduated from Harvard Law School in 1999 and received her BA in Communication Studies from UCLA in 1994. She came to the United States from Iran in 1979 and currently works with the Peyvand Youth Empowerment Program, which serves Iranian and Iranian-American youth in the Greater Seattle area. more


Anna “Mickey” Moritz, Of Counsel  Anna has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Colorado and a law degree from the University of Washington School of Law where she graduated Order of the Coif. Aside from a passion for education law issues, she previously spent 10 years working in the area of nonprofit climate law. Anna sits on the executive committee of the Civil Rights Law Section of the WSBA. Anna is licensed in Oregon, Washington, and California. more.