lance h. olson

Founder / Senior Partner

Lance H. Olson is the founder and senior partner of Olson Hagel & Fishburn LLP. He specializes in the practice of election and political law.

He founded the law firm in 1977. The firm's clientele includes candidates, elected officials, PACs, ballot measure committees, lobbyists, lobbyist employers and major donors, as well as individuals, labor organizations, trade associations and government agencies involved in the political process.

Mr. Olson serves as counsel to many major labor unions active in California, as well as elected officials, including members of the California Congressional Delegation and California Legislature. He has provided legal advice to the California Democratic Party since 1982.

Mr. Olson has played a major role in the drafting and passage of many of California's major laws through the initiative and ballot measure process. At the request of the State Legislature, Mr. Olson drafted Proposition 34, the comprehensive campaign finance reform ballot measure adopted by the voters in November 2000. In 2010 he drafted the successful Proposition 25 which reduced the Legislative vote requirement to pass a budget in California from 2/3rds to a majority. Mr. Olson also drafted Proposition 28, modifying Legislative term limits, adopted by voters in 2012. In 2016 Mr. Olson drafted Proposition 56, an initiative passed by voters to increase the tax on tobacco products. Also in 2016, he co-wrote successful measures to extend California's income tax on wealthy tax payers (Proposition 55) and legalize cannabis under California law (Proposition 64).

Mr. Olson served as an adjunct professor of law at the UOP McGeorge School of Law from 1995 to 2003 where he taught election law. He is also a consultant to the CEB publication, Advising California Nonprofit Corporations.

His other credits include co-founder and past president of the California Political Attorney's Association. He has served on many government bodies, including the California Bipartisan Commission on the Political Reform Act. Beginning in 2002 he served three years as a Lawyer Representative for the Eastern District of California to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference.

Mr. Olson earned a B.A. degree in political science from California State University, Sacramento. Mr. Olson received his law degree from the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law in 1977.