USC Gould Search

Laura Black Dawson

Laura Black Dawson

Lecturer in Law

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

Last Updated: May 2, 2018

Laura Black Dawson is a seasoned business, legal and compliance executive with extensive expertise in a wide variety of industries, including banking, finance, global transportation and logistics, and entertainment and digital media. She teaches entertainment law and regulatory compliance as a lecturer in law at the USC Gould School of Law, and is also a member of the Los Angeles Copyright Society.

Previously, Dawson was executive vice president, business and legal Affairs at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, serving as the head of business and legal affairs for MGM’s television development and production operations. In this capacity she was the chief negotiator and lawyer managing all facets of business and legal affairs in the creation and licensing of numerous serialized cable dramas, as well as developing and implementing MGM TV policy on all key legal and compliance issues.

Prior to her position at MGM, Dawson was senior vice president and chief counsel for NBC Entertainment and Universal Television Studios, where she led the team of lawyers and legal staff negotiating and drafting a broad range of content, license, talent and other rights-related agreements for the production and first-run exploitation of broadcast and cable television and subscription video programming. In addition, Dawson was a key leader of NBCUniversal’s legal team with respect to new media and digital rights analysis during the regulatory review of Comcast’s acquisition of NBCUniversal from the General Electric Company (GE).

Dawson came to NBCUniversal from GE, 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 a decade, holding a number 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 served as GE Capital’s Chief Compliance Officer for its company-wide Global Center of Excellence project based in Gurgaon, India. She is certified as a GE Six Sigma Blackbelt.

Prior to joining GE Capital, Dawson was a corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions attorney with Gibson Dunn in New York City. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the history of science from the University of California at Los Angeles, and a JD degree from Yale Law School.


The Tribune
December 6, 2018
Re: Elyn Saks

Elyn Saks was quoted in an article exploring the economic and social costs that occur due to the mistreatment of persons suffering from mental illness. "Thirty years ago, I was given a diagnosis of Schizophrenia," she said. "My prognosis was ‘grave’: I would never live independently, hold a job, find a loving partner, or get married. My home would be a board-and-care facility, my days spent watching TV in a day room with other people debilitated by mental illness.” The author of the article went on to discuss the ways that people dealing with mental health issues should be cared for, arguing that they "have the right to live with dignity just as anyone with diabetes or hypertension or heart disease. Mental illness, after all, is an illness like any other."


Sam Erman
September, 2018

Sam Erman wrote an op-ed, "Devastation Without Representation in Puerto Rico," posted to The Los Angeles Times on September 20, 2018.

Gregory Keating
September, 2018

"Principles of Risk Imposition and the Priority of Avoiding Harm," Revus [Online] (2018).

Jody David Armour
September, 2018

"Where Bias Lives in the Criminal Law and its Processes: How Judges and Jurors Socially Construct Black Criminals," American Journal of Criminal Law 45 (2018): 203.