Lawson was born and raised in Bristol, VA. He attended the Boston Conservatory where he received his BFA in Musical Theatre. Lawson then went on to study in London, at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). After his year at LAMDA, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a film and television career. While in L.A. he worked as a personal trainer and started his own strength and conditioning business called, "Forge."
After being in L.A. for five years, Lawson was just about to give up on acting, when he got a call from One Life to Live with the opportunity to audition for the role of Brody Lovett. Lawson came to New York, where he had his first television screen test and landed the role.
Lawson is a retired semi-pro mixed martial arts fighter (MMA) and in his spare time still enjoys training in and around the sport.