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
|Attorney||Private Practice||1976 - Present|
|Teacher||Livonia Public Schools||1966 - 1991|
|Tax Appeal Board||Salem Township||2002 - 2005|
|Commentator||Institute Continuing Legal Education||2000 - Present|
|Member / Board of Directors||MPSERS (Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System)||2005 - 2009|
|Board Member||Pension Policy Round Table||2006 - 2011|
|Member||State Legislative Committee/MARSP (Michigan Association of Retired|
|1990 - 2000 &
2003 - 2009
|Chair||Community Foundation of Plymouth||2005 - Present|
|Board of Directors||Nomads Air Travel Club||2001 -2002|
|Kiwanis Member & Secretary||Kiwanis Club of Colonial Plymouth||2002 - Present|
|Board of Directors||Taylor Towers Senior Housing Complex||1985 - 1990|
|Wayne State University||Juris Doctor / Law||1976|
|University of Michigan||Ph.D. work / Ed. Admin||1970|
|Eastern Michigan University||M.A. / Ed. Admin.||1969|
|Eastern Michigan University||B.A. / History & English||1966|
|"AV" Rated Attorney||Highest possible rating, 90th percentile||1980 - Present|
|Michigan Association Retired School Personnel||State Distinguished Service Award||2005|
|Livonia Education Association||Distinguished Service Award||1979|
|Detroit Business Magazine||Outstanding Lawyers in Detroit||Nov/Dec 2009|