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Layla Dotson Lumpkin


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I’m a partner in the New Ventures practice group. While I spend most of my time in the emerging company and venture capital space, I am somewhat of a corporate legal utility player. I also work on private company M&A deals and loan transactions.

I counsel early stage founders throughout the business life cycle, especially initial formation and the fundraising process. I also act as outside general counsel for early stage and emerging companies, including advising them on early operations and structuring complex commercial arrangements. Essentially, I am a thought partner who helps founders develop solutions to unlock growth potential.

Angel investors, angel syndicates, venture capital funds and strategic investors investing in early stage and growth companies also turn to me for advice because I have experience representing lead and additional investors in SAFE, convertible note and the series alphabet of equity financing rounds. In addition, I counsel investors through the exit of portfolio company assets, including by IPO or acquisition.

Before joining Thompson Hine, I worked at another law firm (or two) and was also an attorney at the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Entrepreneurship Clinic. I began working with entrepreneurs as a law student at Northwestern’s Bluhm Legal Clinic Entrepreneurship Law Center. I see entrepreneurship as a catalyst for change and am especially passionate about mentoring and providing opportunities for underrepresented founders (e.g., founders of color and women).

Outside of law, investing is the family side hustle. I enjoy digging into risk-return models, learning new things and trying new products (my spouse calls me a marketer’s dream). We invest as angels, LPs and in our communities.

I also enjoy cooking (when I don’t actually have to), decadent sweets, throwing fun parties for people of all ages and tinkering as an amateur handywoman.

  • Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., 2011, articles editor, Journal of Law and Social Policy
  • Florida A&M University, B.S., 2006, magna cum laude
  • Illinois
  • Texas
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), Fellow, 2022
  • Illinois Emerging Lawyer in Closely & Privately Held Business, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Securities & Venture Finance Law, Law Bulletin Media Leading Lawyers, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • Named to The National Black Lawyers Top 40 Under 40, 2018
Professional & Civic

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Texas State Bar Association
  • Women’s Association of Venture & Equity (WAVE)

Community Activities

  • Gray Matter, board member
  • The Junior League of Houston, Inc.