USC Gould Search

Laura Black Dawson

Laura Black Dawson

Lecturer in Law

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

Last Updated: August 25, 2019




Laura 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 led all business and legal aspects of production and projets with Hulu, 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 more than 20 lawyers and legal staff handling a broad range of content, license, and above-the-line agreements, digital exploitation analyses and merger-related legal issues. She was instrumental in handling agreements with marquee talent and high-level 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 ounsel for GE Equipment Services. She was a lawyer with GE for more than 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 mergers and acquisitions counsel for GE Money Americas, general counsel for GE Capital Financial Inc., and chief privacy/e-commerce lawyer, chief compliance officer and lead litigator (each for GE Card Services).

Prior to that, Dawson was a corporate transactions/financing and mergers and acquisitions attorney with Gibson Dunn in New York City. She earned her JD from Yale Law School and graduated magna cum laude from UCLA with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the history of science.  

FACULTY IN THE NEWS

Los Angeles Times
January 15, 2020
Re: Wayne Sandholtz

Wayne Sandholtz, a faculty member part of both USC Gould and USC Dornsife, wrote an op-ed discussing how Trump is “a few steps from becoming a new kind of autocrat –an elected one.” He analyzes how Trump’s strategies and actions mirror those of other elected autocrats, naming Viktor Orban, Vladimir Putin, and Rodrigo Duterte as examples.

RECENT SCHOLARSHIP

Ariela Gross
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Ariela Gross has been elected as the new Chair of the Legal History Section of the American Association of Law Schools. 

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Thomas D. Lyon
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Thomas Lyon commented on Roseanna Sommers’, “Commonsense Consent,” at the 14th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies, Claremont-McKenna College.