Bar Admissions

  • New York


  • Canisius College, B. A., summa cum laude
  • University of Buffalo School of Law, J. D., magna cum laude

Professional Association

  • American Bar Association, House of Delegates, Member
  • Financial Planning Counselors of WNY,  Board of Directors
  • Bar Association of Erie County, Young Lawyers Committee, Past Co-Chair
  • Charles S. Desmond American Inn of Court, Member
  • New York State Bar Association, Member

Community Involvement

  • Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Professional Advisor Council, Member

Professional Recognition

  • Best Lawyers, "Ones to Watch" 2024
  • Super Lawyers "Rising Star" 2023

Carolyn Lavin DeVaughn concentrates her practice in corporate law, banking and finance, estate planning, and representing school districts, private schools, and charter schools in education law matters. 

Corporate Law
Carolyn works with clients of all sizes across various industries on a full-range of corporate services including:

  • Small business formation including LLCs and corporations
  • Drafting operating agreements
  • Creating articles of organization and corporate bylaws
  • Assisting with the sale of businesses or business assets
  • Transfer of operation agreements
  • Developing and executing strategic succession plans


Banking and Finance

Securing the proper financing agreements can be critical to the success of any deal. Carolyn works with lenders and borrowers to negotiate the most advantageous terms for a variety of deals including:

  • Commercial real estate purchases
  • Building construction loans
  • Property refinancing


Estate Planning

No one likes to plan for their own end of life, but it is a reailty that must be addressed. Carolyn has a depth of experience working with individuals in a caring and compassionate manner to properly organize their estate in a way to best protect their assets and family. She works with clients on:

  • Wills
  • Healthcare Proxies
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Supplemental Needs Trusts

Carolyn also works closely with clients who need legal guidance in the area of vital records. Many people don't realize if you need to make a change to a birth certificate or death certificate, the process must go through the court system. Likewise, if you don't meet the legal parameters to receive a copy of such records, but you have a legitimate reason for requesting one, that can be a complex and challenging process as well. Carolyn guides her clients through these steps and works to achieve their desired result as efficiently as possible while working to minimize the stress for the client.

Education Law

Prior to attending law school, Carolyn worked in the field of special education. Her passion for education carried over to her law practice. As a member of our education law practice group, Carolyn works in collaboration with our team of attorneys  to assist school districts, private schools and charter schools to meet their unique legal needs including:

  • Serving as general counsel
  • Representing schools/districts in 3020-a disciplinary hearings
  • Representing school districts in contract negotiations with unions
  • Preparing and reviewing charter applications for charter schools
  • Working alongside our litigation team if a school district faces a matter that needs to go to arbitration or litigation