In 1981, Mike Smith's life changed drastically when he heard a radio program that introduced the idea of homeschooling. He and Elizabeth, his wife, began homeschooling three of their four children "one year at a time" to meet their children's academic and social needs. After several years, it was obvious to them that there were many other benefits, including spiritual development and family integrity. Together with Michael and Vickie Farris, Mike and Elizabeth incorporated Home School Legal Defense Association in 1983 and were the original board members. He served as vice president of HSLDA from 1987 to 2001, when he became its president. He is also HSLDA's contact attorney for California, Nevada, and Puerto Rico. Mike graduated from the University of Arkansas, served in the U.S. Navy, and in 1972 received his law degree from the University of San Diego. His favorite part of his job is going to homeschool conferences and meeting those he calls America's greatest heroes: homeschooling moms.