M. Jackson Nichols

M. Jack Nichols

M. Jackson Nichols, Partner


Practice Areas


  • Duke University, M.A. Public Policy, 1977
  • Wake Forest University School of Law, J.D., 1977
  • Davidson College, B.S., 1973


  • North Carolina Bar
  • Eastern, Middle and Western Districts, U.S. District Court
  • Fourth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Selected Experience

  • Serves as general counsel for N.C. Board of Nursing, N.C. Social Work Certification and Licensure Board, N.C. Board of Architecture, N.C. Board of Funeral Services, and N.C. Board of Opticians.
  • Serves 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 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, and N.C. Board of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractors.
  • Represented N.C. Board of Dental Examiners against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in In the Matter of N.C. Board of Dental Examiners, Docket No. 9343.
  • Represented clients in over 100 hearings of the Office of Administrative Hearings.
  • Counsel of Record in over 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, professional defamation, and product disparagement.

Leadership & Public Service

  • Publicly elected member, Wake County Board of Commissioners, 1990-1994.
  • Chair, N.C. Bar Association Administrative Law Section, 1994-1995; Membership Services Committee, 2000-2002.
  • Regular presenter at Council on Legislative, Enforcement and Administration Regulation (CLEAR).
  • Co-Founder and legal counsel for Planned Parenthood of Greater Raleigh.
  • Co-Founder, board chair, and legal counsel Wake County SmartStart.
  • Scoutmaster and Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America, Occoneechee Council.
  • President, Occoneechee Council, BSA, 1997-1999.
  • Member, Wake Medical Center Board of Directors, 2009-2014.


  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America in Administrative Law
  • Recognized as a Super Lawyer by North Carolina Super Lawyers.
  • Rated AV® by Martindale-Hubbell®.*

* CV, BV and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedure’s standards and policies.

Jack Nichols was born in Quantico, Virginia, and 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 second 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.

Mr. Nichols represents ten state occupational licensing boards, and he has also 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. Mr. Nichols has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America in Administrative Law since 2006 and as a “Super Lawyer” in North Carolina Super Lawyer since 2006. Mr. Nichols has also been recognized by North Carolina Lawyers Weekly as a 2014 Leader in the Law.