Douglas E. Lawson


Doug Lawson assists business owners and high-net-worth individuals with tax planning, succession planning, and wealth preservation. Doug has experience drafting estate planning documents, including wills, trusts, healthcare directives, and powers of attorney; documenting wealth transfer transactions; and preparing estate and gift tax returns. Drawing from his previous experience as a trust and estate litigator, Doug structures estate plans that anticipate family needs in the event of a loved one's incapacity or death, with an eye to keeping litigation out of the family legacy.

Before joining Venable, Doug spent several years practicing business litigation at a nationally recognized firm in Los Angeles, with a particular focus on white collar criminal defense, products liability, and contract disputes. Doug then transitioned to a boutique trust and estate litigation firm in Los Angeles, where he advised fiduciary and individual clients regarding active and potential inheritance disputes, and represented their interests by drafting and arguing motions, briefs, petitions, and objections in California state courts. Doug has significant experience handling multi-million-dollar trust and estate disputes from inception through settlement or judgment after trial.

During law school, Doug interned at the NBA Players Association in Harlem, New York, representing the interests of the players in collective bargaining negotiations with team owners during the historic lockout that threatened to derail the 2011-2012 NBA season. Doug also worked as a judicial extern for the Honorable Joseph L. Tauro in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, shadowing the judge and drafting bench memoranda to help the judge prepare for hearings.



  • B.A. English and Psychology Duke University 2009
    • Recipient, Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship
    • Recipient, Tufts University Citizenship and Public Service/Book Award
  • J.D. University of Southern California, Gould School of Law 2012
    • Recipient, USC Merit Scholarship
    • Member, Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal

Bar Admissions

  • California

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Board member, Landau Lawyers League
  • Member, Trusts and Estates Section, California Young Lawyers Association
  • Member, Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section, American Bar Association


Pro Bono

  • Doug takes pride in his record of successful pro bono representations, which includes clients victimized by mortgage fraud schemes and loan sharks; an elderly couple subjected to a bait-and-switch maneuver in connection with a vehicle purchase; and tenants facing unlawful eviction and illegal withholding of their security deposits


  • Doug is a regular donor of blood and platelets at Children's Hospital Los Angeles
  • Doug is also a committed supporter of Food on Foot, a West Hollywood organization with an effective, tiered approach to helping homeless people secure food, employment, and eventually their own apartments, with support and guidance from professionals that they can count on every step of the way

Personal Activities

  • Doug is an avid basketball player, long-distance runner, and triathlete.He has recently taken up golf, where his game has proved quite effective at padding the egos of his fellow players