Judge Julie A. Nicholson was elected to the 52nd
District Court, 3rd
Division in November of 1996. The Michigan State Supreme Court appointed Judge Nicholson Chief Judge of the 52nd
District Court in January of 2000, 2002, and 2012. She was subsequently appointed Chief Judge Pro Tem in January 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010. Judge Nicholson also was a member of the Michigan Judicial Institute faculty and has been an Adjunct Professor at Cooley Law School since 2007.
Judge Nicholson received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration/Pre-Law from Michigan State University in 1983. In 1987 she received her Juris Doctorate from Detroit College of Law. Prior to her election, Judge Nicholson was an associate and partner in private law firms.
In September of 1997, Judge Nicholson instituted the Court in the Schools/Critical Life Choices program for all the school districts in the Courts jurisdiction. Judge Nicholson travels monthly to various schools and conducts actual court proceedings and presents an interactive video presentation about the consequences for illegal behavior. Additionally, Judge Nicholson conducts mock court presentations for elementary aged children twice a month. In 2005 Judge Nicholson instituted her Have to Choose program to high school students which focuses on making healthy choices. Additionally, in 2008 Judge Nicholson presented Court at the OPC, a local senior center.
In 2008 Judge Nicholson implemented the Most Wanted program, a program which utilizes the assistance of the public through the Internet to apprehend those individuals that pose a risk to public safety who have absconded from the court system.
Judge Nicholson also instituted a Night Court program for Landlord/Tenant and Small Claims cases. One night per month Judge Nicholson holds court without any additional cost to the taxpayers. The program has been helpful to those who cannot afford to take time off of work to address certain civil matters.
Judge Nicholson currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Rochester-based Rainbow Connection, North Oakland YMCA, and the Oakland County Zoological Authority Board. She previously served as a Trustee for Notre Dame Preparatory/Marist Academy. She is also involved in several community organizations such as the Rochester/Auburn Hills Coalition for the Prevention of Substance Abuse; the North Oakland Community Coalition, HAVEN Mock Trial Judge; The Womens Foundation; the Oakland County Coordinating Council Against Domestic Violence; the Implementation Advisory Group; and the Greater Rochester, Auburn Hills, and Lake Orion/Oxford Chambers of Commerce.
Judge Nicholson is a member of the following associations: American Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan, Oakland County Bar Association, Rochester Bar Association, Orion/Oxford Bar Association, Women Lawyers Association, American Judicial Association, and Michigan District Judges Association. She was also appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court to the Local Intergovernmental Advisory Council and the Advisory Collection Committee.
In 2002 Judge Nicholson was awarded the Rochester Board of Education Service Award for her Court in the Schools/Critical Life Choices program. She was also awarded the 2005 Rochester Elks Community Service recognition; the 2006 OCBA Distinguished Public Servant Award; the 2008 Michigan State University College of Law Distinguished Alumni Award; and the 2010 Gary Bernstein Esteemed Women Award. In 2011, Judge Nicholson was given the rating of AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell - Bar Registry of Preeminent Women Lawyers.