Attorney Will Small is a lawyer in San Diego, California.

Will Small



Will Small was Senior Counsel with a national law firm and the largest law office in San Diego when he decided to partner with John Schena to form Small & Schena LLP.

As an attorney, Will's goal is to provide his clients with the one-on-one attention they deserve - while still enjoying the same expertise and experience of an attorney with a large law firm.

Will's practice focuses on business and employment litigation.  His business litigation experience includes cases involving contract disputes, shareholder derivative actions, the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, California's Unfair Competition Law, California and federal franchise laws, class actions, trademark, copyright,  the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act, products liability, breach of warranty, and other forms of commercial litigation.

In the employment arena, Will has represented plaintiffs and defendants in harassment, retaliation, wage and hour violations, discrimination, and other claims.

Will additionally handles defamation-related matters and professional liability litigation. He has prosecuted and defended claims against attorneys, real estate professionals, corporate officers and directors, financial advisors, insurance professionals, and others.

Will serves as Chair of the San Diego County Bar Association's Civil Litigation Executive Committee and is active in other legal organizations in the community.

Although he concentrates his practice on litigation, Will also advises clients on various legal issues ranging from contract to compliance with consumer protection and franchise laws - with the goal of helping them avoid litigation entirely.   

Will grew up in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After a stint as a newspaper journalist, Will graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law, where he was an Articles & Notes Editor for the First Amendment Law Review.

Will and his family live in the Point Loma neighborhood of San Diego with their corgi. Will enjoys running and - to the detriment of his ego - playing golf and basketball.

Representative Matters

  • Obtained a pre-trial dismissal of all claims, including franchise-law violation and fraud, against officers and directors of a national corporation. 
  • Negotiated a complete dismissal of complaint alleging breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract against a prominent San Diego financial institution.
  • Prevailed on summary judgment motion on behalf of officers and directors of real estate brokerage in defamation action seeking damages in excess of $1 million.
  • Negotiated six-figure settlement for plaintiff in sexual harassment and retaliation employment matter.
  • Won summary judgment for defendant car dealership in multi-million dollar product-liability case that included wrongful death claim. 
  • Negotiated a licensing agreement on behalf of client to avoid costly litigation and resolve contentious disputes regarding trademarks, copyrights, and breach of contract.


  • Social Media Lawsuits and the Communications Decency Act, Association of Business Trial Lawyers San Diego Report


  • Speaker, Civil Litigation Q&A Series for Newer Litigators: Expert Depositions, San Diego County Bar Association, August 2016
  • Speaker, Overview of San Diego Superior Courts (Civil Litigation), San Diego County Bar Association, December 2016



    Office: (619) 430-4793

    Direct Dial: (619) 430-4796


    Education & Training

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.A., 2003; Journalism and Mass Communication, Political Science)

    University of North Carolina School of Law (J.D., 2007)

    San Diego Inn of Court College of Trial Advocacy

    awards & honors

    San Diego County Top Attorney in Corporate Litigation 2015, San Diego Daily Transcript

    Best of the Bar 2015 and 2016, San Diego Business Journal

    Rising Stars 2017, Super Lawyers

    Admissions & Memberships

    State Bar of California

    U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Central Districts of California

    San Diego County Bar Association; 2016-2017 Chair of the Civil Litigation Executive Committee, 2015 Vice Chair of the Civil Litigation Executive Committee

    Association of Business Trial Lawyers

    American Inns of Court - Louis M. Welsh Inn, 2015-Present

    American Bar Association, Section of Labor & Employment Law

    University of North Carolina General Alumni Association