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, 2012, 2014 and 2016. She was also appointed Chief Judge Pro Tem in January 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010. Judge Nicholson also is 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 four school districts in the Court's 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 . In 2005 Judge Nicholson instituted her "Have to Choose" program to high school students which focuses on making healthy choices.
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 currently serves on several Board of Directors, including the Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital, Rainbow Connection, Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce, Detroit Zoological Society Board and the Oakland County Zoological Authority Board. She previously served as a Trustee for Notre Dame Preparatory/Marist Academy and on the Board of Directors for North Oakland YMCA. She is also involved with 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 Women's Foundation; the Oakland County Coordinating Council Against Domestic Violence; the Mayor's Advisory Committee for Van Hoosen Museum; and the Greater Rochester, Auburn Hills, and Lake Orion/Oxford Chambers of Commerce. She was also appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court to the Local Intergovernmental Advisory Council and the Advisory Collection Committee and is a member of MJI's Crime Victim Rights Manual's Editorial Advisory Committee.
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.
Judge Nicholson has received the following awards: 2002 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 and the 2015 Oakland Mediation Leadership Award. In 2011, Judge Nicholson was given the rating of "AV Preeminent" by Martindale-Hubbell - Bar Registry of Preeminent Women Lawyers.