Attorney: Shima Kalaei

Attorney: Shima Kalaei

Direct: (858) 271-6244

Practice Areas:
Estate Planning
Powers of Attorney
Special Needs Trusts

Bar Admissions:
California, June 2010

Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California
Juris Doctor, Cum Laude, May 2009

University of California, Berkeley, California
Bachelors of Arts, Psychology, May 2005

I am originally from the San Francisco/Bay area, and I attended college at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in psychology and completing all premedical school course requirements. While I had a passion to attend medical school after Berkeley, the challenges my family and I faced raising my brother, who has autism, helped me decide to attend law school to become a special education and disability rights attorney.

After graduating from Thomas Jefferson Law School, in San Diego, I worked at a law firm in Pasadena representing students and families in special education matters. This work primarily involved representing students in lawsuits against school districts and other government entities. As many students began to age out of the school system, parents became concerned about their children’s futures. Because of this, I began to provide estate planning services to my clients. My expertise and passion lies in helping families with young children, and families with children with special needs, to cover the complex issues that surround caring for those we love, especially when we are gone.

While I built many incredible memories and friendships living in Pasadena, I had always hoped to return to San Diego. With my wonderful husband, Allan, who I met in college, we decided to make San Diego our home.  I have a multi-cultural and diverse background.  I am Persian and Jewish, and I attended Catholic private schools in the Bay Area before entering college.  I live my life open to meeting and learning about people of all backgrounds. I am grateful to be part of an estate planning team in San Diego that prioritizes thoughtfulness, consideration and concern in creating comprehensive estate plans for each client!!

When I’m not working, I enjoy running with my husband, who is an ultra-marathoner. Together, we’ve completed many marathons and half-marathons. In 2016, our family of two grew to three, with the birth of our daughter, Maya. We love our family time together – whether it’s going to the San Diego Zoo/Safari Park or going for a stroll on the beach. We love exploring San Diego through the lens of our little one, and we look forward to building more memories as a family in beautiful San Diego.


Shima Kalaei, Students with Autism Left Behind: No Child Left Behind and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 30 T. JEFFERSON L. REV 723 (Spring 2008).

Shima Kalaei, Special Needs Trusts: How to Provide for Your Child’s Future, WOODSMALL LAW GROUP, PC (January 2011), available at

Shima Kalaei, Transition Planning: How to Prepare for Transitioning Out of the School District and Into Adulthood, WOODSMALL LAW GROUP, PC (January 2011).

Shima Kalaei, Special Education and the Private School Student: Legal Protections & Options for Securing a FAPE, WOODSMALL LAW GROUP, PC (September 2013), available at

Shima Kalaei et. al., School Advocacy, in AUTISM SPEAKS FAMILY SERVICES ADVOCACY TOOL KIT, ed. Autism Speaks, pp. 13-25 (2013), available at

Invited Talks:
Shima Kalaei, Conservatorships and Special Needs Trusts, presented at the The Frostig Center, Pasadena, CA (November 16, 2012).

Shima Kalaei, Conservatorships and Special Needs Trusts, presented at the Speech and Language Developmental Center, Buena Park, CA (January 17, 2013).

Practice Areas: