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William J. Lawson (Emeritus)

Becoming a lawyer was my calling. I was aware of this from an early age. In college I took a survey matching occupations interest to the person who took the survey. The results indicted that my interest lay in the areas of social studies, teaching and law. I became a social studies teacher and a lawyer. Could the test have been that accurate? Was it a case of a self-fulfilling prophecy? I began teaching in Livonia Public Schools and started evening law school classes at Wayne State University in the Fall of 1966. After an initial six weeks of doing both, I decided to focus on my teaching career and withdrew from the law school. In due course I achieved a Masters in Education.

I was working on a Ph.D. in Education at University of Michigan in 1972, when I awoke one morning and announced to my wife , “I have to go back to law school.” My teaching career spanned 25 years in Livonia Public Schools. While teaching Psychology and going to law school in the evenings (for four years, graduating in1976), I developed a law course for high school students. That led to a Federal grant to prepare others to teach law to high school students. After passing the Bar Exam, I became an attorney in November of 1976. Because I was teaching during the day, going to court to handle litigation and criminal or divorce cases was out of the question. For that reason, I concentrated on developing a practice related to estate planning, trusts, wills and probate- things that could be done late afternoon and evenings.

Having pursued both careers since 1976, I retired from education in 1991 and have focused on the practice of law. My areas of practice are still estate planning, trusts, trust administration, probate, real estate, and LLC start-ups. I have added facilitative mediation which is a relatively new area of law. The purpose there is to settle disputes and end the “bleeding” for the parties involved. The “rush” that a successful mediation provides is amazing. It is the best of law.

My daughter, Mia E. Lawson, has joined me in my practice, adding the areas of Bankruptcy and Family Law to the services we offer. What a delight it has been! We will work together on our client files and I can remain of counsel even after I retire- whenever that will occur. I am blessed to have had two very satisfying careers. In the December 2009 edition of Detroit Business Magazine I am listed among the “Top Lawyers” in Southeast Michigan in the areas of Estate Planning, Real Estate, Wills and Probate – Click to View Article. It is vital to me that I earn the trust of my clients. I want them to leave my office feeling that they have been heard, respected, and relieved of the burdens which brought them to me.

William J. Lawson officially retired in March of 2014.

William J. Lawson's Credentials

AttorneyPrivate Practice1976 - Present
TeacherLivonia Public Schools1966 - 1991
Tax Appeal BoardSalem Township2002 - 2005
CommentatorInstitute Continuing Legal Education2000 - Present
Member / Board of DirectorsMPSERS (Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System)2005 - 2009
Board MemberPension Policy Round Table2006 - 2011
MemberState Legislative Committee/MARSP (Michigan Association of Retired
School Personnel)
1990 - 2000 &
2003 - 2009
ChairCommunity Foundation of Plymouth2005 - Present
Board of DirectorsNomads Air Travel Club2001 -2002
Kiwanis Member & SecretaryKiwanis Club of Colonial Plymouth2002 - Present
Board of DirectorsTaylor Towers Senior Housing Complex1985 - 1990
Wayne State UniversityJuris Doctor / Law1976
University of MichiganPh.D. work / Ed. Admin1970
Eastern Michigan UniversityM.A. / Ed. Admin.1969
Eastern Michigan UniversityB.A. / History & English1966
"AV" Rated AttorneyHighest possible rating, 90th percentile1980 - Present
Michigan Association Retired School PersonnelState Distinguished Service Award2005
Livonia Education AssociationDistinguished Service Award1979
Detroit Business MagazineOutstanding Lawyers in DetroitNov/Dec 2009

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