M. Jackson Nichols
Administrative / Regulatory Law
Occupational / Professional Licensing
- Duke University, M.A. Public Policy, 1977
- Wake Forest University School of Law, J.D., 1977
- Davidson College, B.S., 1973
- North Carolina State Bar, 1977
- U.S. District Court, Eastern (1986), Middle (1985) and Western Districts (1991)
- Fourth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals, 1992
- U.S. Supreme Court, 1997
- Serves as General Counsel for N.C. State Board of Chiropractic Examiners, N.C. Social Work Certification and Licensure Board, N.C. Board of Architecture, and the N.C. Board of Barber Examiners.
- Serves, or has served, as general counsel to numerous nonprofit boards, including Planned Parenthood Health Systems, Wake County SmartStart, North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE), N.C. Medical Society, N.C. Foundation for Public School Children, and Foundation for Nursing Excellence.
- Represented clients before numerous occupational/professional licensing boards, including: N.C. Real Estate Licensing Commission, N.C. Board of Pharmacy, N.C. Board of Psychology, N.C. Board of Licensed Professional Counselors, N.C. Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy, N.C. Board of Occupational Therapy, N.C. Board of Examiners for Engineers and Land Surveyors, N.C. Board of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractors, and N.C. Veterinary Medical Board.
- Represented N.C. Board of Dental Examiners against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) In the Matter of N.C. Board of Dental Examiners, Docket No. 9343.
- Represented clients in more than 100 hearings at the Office of Administrative Hearings, including one of the first hearings.
- Counsel of Record in more than 60 appellate cases.
- Litigated employment cases involving sexual harassment, EEOC claims, retaliation, and whistleblowers.
- Litigated commercial cases involving Unfair Trade Practice claims, violation of non-compete agreements, violations of the N.C. Trade Secrets Act, wage and hour cases, jury trials, professional defamation, and product disparagement.
- Publicly elected member, Wake County Board of Commissioners, 1990-1994.
- Chair, N.C. Bar Association Administrative Law Section, 1994-1995; Membership Committee, 2000-2002.
- Regular presenter at CLE Programs.
- Co-Founder and legal counsel, Planned Parenthood of Greater Raleigh.
- Co-Founder, Board Chair, and General Counsel, Wake County SmartStart.
- Scoutmaster and Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America, Occoneechee Council.
- President, Occoneechee Council, BSA, 1997-1999. Board member, 1987 to present.
- Member, Wake Medical Center Board of Directors, 2009-2014.
- Recognized by Best Lawyers in America® in Administrative Law since 2003, including selection as the Administrative/Regulatory Lawyer of the Year in 2020.
- Selected to Super Lawyers in 2006 and 2009-present.
- Rated AV® by Martindale-Hubbell®.
Jack Nichols was born in Quantico, Virginia, and, after early childhood in Baton Rouge, LA, grew up in Charlotte, N.C. He has lived in Raleigh since 1978. He concentrates on public policy development and advocacy, administrative law, and civil litigation. His practice is augmented by his extensive government service, including elective office to the Board of Commissioners (1990-1994) of Wake County, the state’s largest county. He has taught Administrative Law and Constitutional Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Campbell University School of Law. He served as Deputy Legislative Liaison for Governor James B. Hunt, Jr., from 1983-1985, and worked in state government from 1978-1985 as legal counsel to the Secretaries of Administration and Human Resources.
The firm represents twelve state occupational/professional licensing boards, and Mr. Nichols primarily works with four of them. He also has represented clients before regulatory bodies such as the North Carolina Utilities Commission, North Carolina Banking Commission, North Carolina Industrial Commission, and the State Personnel Commission (now the Human Relations Commission). Mr. Nichols has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America in Administrative Law since 2003 and as a “Super Lawyer” in North Carolina Super Lawyer since 2006. Mr. Nichols also has been designated by North Carolina Lawyers Weekly in both 2014 and in 2019 as a “Leader in the Law.” In 2018, the North Carolina Bar Association, Administrative Law Section presented him with its annual Award of Excellence.