Congratulations to Paige Nichols, of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Kansas, for winning this year’s Champion of Justice Award from the Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
The Champion of Justice Award is given for outstanding
contributions to the field of criminal defense in Kansas. It can be for
exceptional defense of clients, but it also can be for outstanding
contributions to legal education or community service. As was noted when the
award was given last week, Paige has done it all and then some.
Paige currently works as an Assistant Federal Public
Defender for the District of Kansas, where she litigates direct appeals,
supports district-court motions practice, and contributes to various local and
national Federal Defender training projects. Anyone who has read a motion or brief written by Paige knows that her client representation is top notch.
But Paige has been a Kansas criminal-defense lawyer since
graduating from Northeastern University Law School in 1993. She received her LLM
in criminal law from UMKC, where she helped found the Midwestern Innocence
Project. In total, she has worked in city, state, and federal courts as both a
private and public defender, and at every stage of a criminal case (pre-charge,
district court, appeal, SCOTUS, post-conviction, clemency). And she has worked on some of the more important cases in the history of
But Paige has contributed to the field of criminal defense
in Kansas in countless other ways. She been a KACDL member since 1994. She has
served as the organization’s treasurer, secretary, newsletter editor, and ethics
chair. She has also worked on legislation and authored amicus briefs for the
organization. And she has been a frequent CLE presenter, always entertaining
and educating at a high level. She even hosted an informative (and
entertaining) podcast (Just in Case) focusing on criminal-defense case law just
in from the Kansas appellate courts, the 10th Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme
So thank you Paige for everything you have done for the
field of criminal defense in Kansas. And congratulations on the well-deserved
2020 Champion of Justice Award.