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Lecturers in Law

Laura Black Dawson

Laura Black Dawson

Lecturer in Law

Last Updated: Monday, May 22, 2017

699 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 USA

Laura Black Dawson joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios as Executive Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs for MGM Television in 2014, serving as the head of business and legal affairs for MGM’s television development and production operations. In this capacity she has acted as the lead negotiator and lawyer handling and managing all aspects of business and legal affairs for numerous types of transactions, including above-the-line talent, writer, producer and director agreements, license-and co-production arrangements, overall and first look deals, inbound/underlying rights acquisitions and analyses, innovative new media deals, and day-to-day production management. She also has acted to drive MGM TV policy on key legal issues, including digital rights, backend participations, production policies and numerous other topics.

Among other responsibilities, Dawson was MGM’s point person leading all business and legal aspects of the production of Hulu’s first scripted pilot “Dawn,” as well as leading pioneering projects with Machinima, Interlude and Epix.

Prior to her position at MGM, Dawson was Senior Vice President and Chief Counsel for NBC Entertainment and Universal Television Studios, where for six years she managed a team of 20+ lawyers and legal staff handling a broad range of content, license, and above-the-line agreements, digital exploitation analyses, and Comcast merger-related legal issues. She was instrumental in handling agreements with Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, Lorne Michaels, Keshet and many other high-level talent and producers, as well as license and co-production arrangements both inbound (including with Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures Television and others) and outbound (including with Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, A&E, FBC and others). She also was the lead business lawyer in connection with legal matters relating to The VoiceTM, The Golden GlobesTM, and The EmmysTM, and provided daily counsel and regular training to senior executives across the company. She also served as NBCUniversal Television Entertainment’s Deputy General Counsel, as well as the leader of its Television Contracts and Digital Rights legal practice groups.

Dawson came to NBCUniversal in 2008 from the General Electric Company, where she was General Counsel for GE Equipment Services, a US$9B global transportation asset management leasing and logistics component of GE. She was a lawyer with GE for over 13 years, holding a variety of senior positions in its GE Capital consumer financial services businesses including General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for GE Money Latin America (responsible for managing a dedicated legal and compliance team across Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean Basin), Vice President and Chief M&A Counsel for GE Money Americas, General Counsel for GE Capital Financial Inc., and Chief Privacy/eCommerce Lawyer, Chief Compliance Officer and Lead Litigator (each for GE Card Services). She also trained as a Six Sigma Blackbelt and served as Chief Compliance Officer for GE Capital’s Global Centers of Excellence project.

Prior to joining GE Capital, Dawson was a corporate transactions/financing and mergers and acquisitions attorney with Gibson Dunn in New York City. She graduated magna cum laude from UCLA with BA’s and MA’s degrees in the History of Science, and from Yale Law School with a JD degree. She was born in Connecticut and has also lived in New York, Utah, Mexico and South Africa. She currently resides in Los Angeles.


June 14, 2017
Re: Daria Roithmayr

Daria Roithmayr was interviewed about the possible legal implications if President Donald Trump obstructed justice. “The probe has widened from Russian interference with US elections to possible obstruction of justice by President Trump,” Roithmayr explained. “The FBI frequently widens its investigation when it uncovers potential evidence of additional wrongdoing. That’s what has happened here. Mueller’s investigators are interviewing witnesses inside and outside the government in connection with Trump’s actions with regard to Comey and others in connection with the Russian inquiry. Mueller will make a set of findings about whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice.”


Emily Ryo
April, 2017

“The Promise of a Subject-Centered Approach to Understanding Immigration Noncompliance.” Journal on Migration and Human Security 5 (2017): 285.

Abby K. Wood
April, 2017

“Measuring the Information Benefit of Campaign Finance Disclosure,” Southern California Law and Social Science (SoCLASS) Forum, Claremont-McKenna College, Claremont, CA.

Emily Ryo
April, 2017

2017 recipient of the Andrew Carnegie fellowship, Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program.