1
VISION

To be the go-to firm that

champions the often forgotten

middle class to get answers to

their legal questions without getting stuck in the financially

burdensome labyrinth of litigation.

2
MISSION

Offering alternatives

to the costly

archaic legal system

that emphasizes

fight rather than flight, equipping our clients

to soar through life legally protected.

3
PURPOSE

Live your legacy.

In real time.

No apologies.

No regrets.

Our services support you through

every step of your life journey.

MY PRACTICE AREAS

THE

PERSON

First Steps

Prenup + No-Nup

Artificial Reproduction

Adoption

Protective Order

The Journey

Divorce + Enforcement

Child Custody + Visitation

Child Support

Emancipation

Destination

Legacy Planning

Wills

Advanced Directives

Probate

THE

PROFESSIONAL

First Steps

Business Formation

Operating Agreement

Buy/Sell Agreement

Protective Order

The Journey

Governance

Contracts

Startup + Entreprenuer Support

Destination

Succession Planning

Legacy Planning

Dissolution

get to know deborah lawson

“My goal is to help the often forgotten middle-class plan and protect their life’s journey- their legacy – one step at a time.”

Core Values

Free will. Everyone has free will and the ability to use it. You can’t change anyone else, so simply worry about yourself. Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.

Personal responsibility. When you choose to use your free will, you have to accept the personal responsibility that comes with it. It’s all you, baby!

Harm None. Being politically correct can be harmful. Being honest helps you grow. Little white lies are still lies.

Times Three. Everything you put out into the world–good or bad–comes back cubed. Be proud, happy, and thrilled!

  • Why mediate without an attorney?

    Yes! When you choose to divorce as adults, setting aside all the emotional baggage, you can absolutely get divorced without attorneys. That isn’t to say that you don’t need someone with legal experience to help you negotiate your property division and child custody issues, but that someone can be a mediator, an experienced legal professional trained to help people make decisions that are right for them, rather than that put money in their attorney’s pockets. Learn more about mediated divorce here.

  • What is collaborative divorce?

    Collaborative Divorce is a shorthand way of referring to a divorce that is conducted under the Texas Collaborative Family Law Act. This law encourages individuals to embrace peaceable resolutions of their dispute with the help of specially trained professionals, including two lawyers, a financial professional, and a neutral mental health professional. Working as a team, an equitable resolution is negotiated without resorting to litigation. In the event that the team is unable to reach an equitable resolution, the team is dissolved and new counsel must be engaged to take the divorce to court. Learn more about collaborative divorce here.

  • Same-sex, same rules?

    On 26 June 2015, the Supreme Court answered “yes!” The rest of the country has been a bit slower to respond. And the response goes both ways. Now everyone has the equality that the law guarantees, but were we careful with what we wished for?

    Many family law attorneys championed marriage equality, not because it was the right thing to do, but because the US divorce rate hovers at 50%. If more people get married, more people will get divorced, and that means more money for the lawyers.

    Similarly, although marriage equality means that both parents’ names can be on the birth certificate regardless of sex, Texas parenting laws haven’t caught up and could change at any minute, so a second parent adoption is the only way to ensure parental rights survive an election year.

    So before racing to the courthouse for a marriage license, please talk to a professional about a pre-nup. It’s the only way to be sure.   Learn more about LGBT family law here.

  • What are emotionally inflated legal costs?

    Whenever I think about divorce, my mind conjures up the scene from the iconic John Hughes film Sixteen Candles, where Jim Baker consoles Samantha, saying: “That’s why they call them crushes. If they were easy, they’d call them something else.” Divorces are like crushes; they suck! If everything was great, you probably wouldn’t be getting divorced.

    But once all these emotions come into play, it’s hard to stop them from affecting your decision-making. Anger drives us to make someone pay. We must win at all costs. And those costs are typically the legal fees, as individuals spend hundreds of dollars to gain pennies on principle. The simple truth is, there is no winning in a divorce, and the only one who gets paid is the lawyer. Learn more about eliminating emotionally inflated legal costs here.

  • Do I want to be an LLC or a Corporation?

    From the legal point of view, LLCs and Corporations are almost identical. The real differences show up in management and taxes.

    In short, a corporation is owned by Shareholders and governed by a Board of Directors, who are not necessarily the same people. An LLC is typically owned and governed by the same people. Both enjoy limited liability, but they are taxed very differently. A corporation pays taxes on its income, and its owners pay taxes on dividends, leading to the commonly called “double taxation.” LLCs are taxed on the flow-through method of partnerships.

    So if you’ve just decided to make an idea a reality, your first calls should be to your accountant and your business mentor, who can help you understand the business side of this decision before you spend money on the legal side. Learn more about starting a company here.

Howdy!

I’m a collaborative attorney who, in 2008, founded a boutique law firm with the intention to build a small firm of like-minded lawyers that champion and protect the often forgotten middle-class.

I’m not your typical attorney.

I graduated from Texas A&M in 1992, with a business degree, but didn’t go to law school until almost ten years later.  The New York Times foreshadowed my early career with one article: “Graduates Facing Worst Prospects in Last 2 Decades.”

Years later, I returned to A&M.

This time in Galveston, where I  met the professors who would shape my future and the man with whom I would share my life. Rusty Williams ’02 moved with me to Camden, New Jersey, where I completed a year of law school at Rutgers University.

He then followed me back to Texas.

In 2003, I graduated from SMU’s Dedman School of Law, took the Texas Bar, and moved to Houston to pursue a career in admiralty and maritime law. I’ve represented a major railroad and several major shipping lines, but my true passion is helping individuals and very small companies with their day-to-day legal issues.

Who knew that helping people live their legacies could be so much fun?

In 2008, I opened this private practice with a mission to help members of the often-forgotten middle-class answer their legal questions without breaking the bank. My goal is to help these individuals plan and protect their life journey every step of the way.  Owning my own practice also allowed me to dedicate more of my time to charity, and I developed a niche helping non-profit organizations apply for recognition under IRC § 501(c). A large part of my practice still focuses on non-profit formation and governance, a passion that stems from a long-time love affair with planning events and fundraising.

I’m highly involved with the Houston Aggies.

Thanks to more than 92,000 Aggies in the Houston area, there’s always something to do with the Maroon & White. In 2013, I was honored to be the Houston A&M Club’s 5th female President in 90 years. During my tenure I proudly helped the Houston Aggie Women launch as a stand-alone entity in 2018.  Somewhere in between, I chaired Muster, Coach’s Night, several Reveille golf tournaments, and so much more.

There she is…

I have had the honor of representing several state and local organizations in the Miss America line of scholarship competitions – as a volunteer, an attorney, and on the Board of Directors – and can honestly say that if you’re an empowered young woman looking for a great way to earn scholarship money and improve your marketability, check out the local competitions in any of the lines. You might be surprised.  There is a reason that these competitions have survived while other programs fade away.

Y’all means all!

I currently serve as President of SLAGH – Stonewall Law Association of Greater Houston, Houston’s LGBT bar association (lawyers, not adult beverages), am an active member of the National LGBT Bar’s Family Law Institute, and proudly stand with fewer than 1% of Texas lawyers in the Texas Bar College and Texas Bar Foundation.

A shout out to young professionals in Houston’s LGBT community, check out Lambda NextGen Houston’s website for a variety of social events, volunteer and fundraising opportunities, intramural sports, and professional development programs.  Although I’m a few birthday’s past “young,” this next generation of leaders allows me to share my wisdom and their company.

Whether I’m volunteering or practicing law, my body of work is dedicated to enriching (and protecting) your legacy. I would love to hear about your plans to protect your life’s work, email me here to set up our first phone call.

  • "Deborah is incredibly wonderful to work with and has been a tremendous resource for all of my small business law needs. I highly recommend her and appreciate her honesty."

    Kim Cook

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