Biography Photo of Rachel Lawson

Rachel Schaffer Lawson

Of Counsel
Rachel Schaffer Lawson has over 10 years of experience in serving more than 300 businesses in a wide scope of industries including the alcohol and hospitality sectors offering a range of legal services including Business Formation, Litigation, Trademark Search and Registration, Contracts and Agreements, and Beer and Liquor Licensing. With an educational background in entrepreneurship, marketing, and law, Rachel has dedicated her practice to advocating for businesses and carving out a specific niche in hospitality and alcohol law.

Education & Credentials


Loyola University New Orleans College of Law

J.D., 2010

Northeastern University

B.S., Business Administration, Music Industry, 2001

Bar Admission

  • New York
  • Tennessee


  • Recipient of Business Leader Women Extraordinaire Award, 2012

Prominent Assignments

  • Serves as lead counsel to nationally distributed brand of creamed whiskey regarding COLA labelling requirements, distribution agreements nationwide, trademark issues and liquor compliance
  • Serves as lead counsel for various breweries in Tennessee regarding beer and liquor license compliance, corporate governance, trademarks and contracts
  • Serves as lead counsel for bars, restaurants, hotels, transpotainment companies, breweries, distilleries, meaderies and wineries regarding corporate governance and structure, trademarks, beer and liquor licensing and compliance
  • Assists in the acquisition and sale of various hospitality businesses
  • Serves as lead counsel for museum of whiskey located in Nashville, TN regarding 501(c) nonprofit compliance
  • Serves as lead counsel to manufacturer of guitar strings in Nashville, TN
  • Represents new and emerging brands of alcoholic beverages regarding corporate structure and governance, alcohol licensing and compliance and trademarks.

Professional Involvement

  • Nashville Bar Association, Member
  • Tennessee Bar Association, Member
  • Lawyer’s Association for Women, Member
  • National Association of Liquor Compliance Professionals, Member
  • Brewers Association, Member
  • Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild, Industry Member
  • Middle Tennessee State University
    • Agriculture Department Fermentation Sciences Program, Professor

Community Involvement

  • Board of Advisors of Pathway Women’s Business Center
  • Greater Memphis Chamber
  • Nashville LGBT Chamber
  • SCORE Nashville
  • L’Evate Member

Court Admissions

  • Federal Court, Middle District of Tennessee


  • Co-Author, “Tennessee Sues Six Online Alcohol Retailers,” Dickinson Wright Client Alert, Jul 2023
  • Author, “Is alcohol shipping from Amazon in our future?”, Craft Brewing Business, February 2023
  • Author, "TTB Issues Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: The Next Step of Executive Order 14036,” Dickinson Wright Gaming and Hospitality Blog, January 2023
  • Author, "Branded Alcohol to Chase My Blues Away, Dickinson Wright Gaming and Hospitality Blog, October 2022 
  • Author, "Road Booze: When and How Food Trucks Can Serve Alcohol in Tennessee,” Dickinson Wright Gaming and Hospitality Blog, September 2022 
  • Author, "Starting and Running a Food Truck Business,” Dickinson Wright Gaming and Hospitality Blog, September 2022
  • Interview, "Alcohol Law Attorney Rachel Lawson On Direct To Consumer Shipping Laws," The Whiskey Wash, April 2022
  • Speaker, "Tasting Notes with Alcoholic Beverage Attorney Rachel Lawson," Hops & Spirits: Bar Conversations Podcast, March 2022 
  • Marriage Without the Sex: An Uncommon Approach to Business Relationships
  • Nashville Bar Journal Feature Article, Food Truck Nashville: Navigating the Speed Bumps of Mobile Vendor Regulations, October/November 2018 
  • Three-part webinar series dedicated to helping brewery owners understand the legal and financial aspects of starting, growing and leaving a business.
  • Speaker, Southern Brewers Conference, 2016
Have a question or want to connect?