Caren Nichol has lived in San Diego, Ann Arbor, Houston, Austin and New York City, but for the past 24 years she’s called Memphis home. It’s where she began her career as an attorney and started her family. Caren is a practicing attorney and member of the board of directors at Evans Petree as well as a Fox News Legal Analyst, a cancer survivor, wife and mother. We’re certainly glad she claims Memphis as her adopted hometown. Welcome, Caren!
What brought you to Memphis?
What led you to want to practice law?
I really wanted to be in politics. After I ended up in Memphis, I changed my plans from going to graduate school in Political Science to going to law school.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your (day) job?
The people that I get to work with. We have the best people at Evans Petree. The lawyers and staff are like family, and I actually look forward to coming to work. I like helping my clients through hard times. I do a lot of divorces and working with people through some of the worst times in their lives can be trying, but if you help them find another path and some peace it can be incredibly rewarding.
Lately, I have really enjoyed the opportunity to work with Fox News. It makes me stay current with newsworthy legal topics. It has kept my brain engaged and allowed me the opportunity to explain the legal system and our constitution to a broader audience. The people at our local Fox station are so much fun to work with and they make coming into the station a treat.
Do you think being a woman is a challenge in your field, or does it give you a competitive edge?
Both. I think that being a woman has helped me and hurt me. Being a woman makes it harder to get certain types of clients, and there are still people who will think that you can’t handle the complicated cases, but the number of those people are dwindling. I will never forget when a male lawyer sent me a letter complaining about me and wrote: “This is why women should not practice law.” But I will also never forget when the male judge sanctioned that attorney and made him pay my legal fees. I was originally appointed to the board of directors at my law firm because I was a woman, but I like to think that I have stayed there because of my hard work and dedication to the firm.
Did you make a New Year’s resolution for 2014?
- To help the young lawyers in my firm establish their practices.
- To have as much fun as possible. I have officially been in remission for 5 years and am no longer considered a cancer risk, so this year I am going to celebrate.
Is there a local or national charity that you strongly believe in?
The list is long, but I have been particularly involved with the Children’s Museum of Memphis. It is a wonderful place for children to learn and have fun in a safe environment. I am hoping to develop plans this year for a children’s science museum that will be part of CMOM.
What are your special interests, hobbies or ways you like to unwind and de-stress?
Scuba diving, travel, yoga and Pilates. The best way for me to de-stress is to cuddle my boys. If I really need a break, a quick trip with best friends always does the trick.
Where do you like to take out-of-town friends and family when they visit?
I am in love with the Mississippi River and its rich history. I love to take people downtown to eat and see the beautiful view. My favorite place to take them to view the sunset is the rooftop of the Madison. The Children’s Museum and the Memphis Zoo are always on my list. My favorite restaurants to take people from out of town are Cozy Corner and Sweet Grass.
Memphis event you are most looking forward to in 2014?
The Children’s Museum benefit, Cirque du CMOM. This year’s theme is “Memphis Strong!” It is February 8, 2014. On a personal note, I am looking forward to doing a small triathlon with my 12-year-old son, spring break with a great group of friends and taking a trip to Israel this summer.
Favorite travel destination?
NYC and any island where I can scuba dive and lie in the sand.
What are three lighthearted things you can’t live without?
My Monday morning Pilates class (helps get my week going), my espresso machine (helps get my day going), and mascara (I look horrific without it).
What books are currently on your bedside table?
I normally have one Kindle book and one paper book going at the same time. Right now I am reading The Glass Room by Simon Mawer, and The Affair by Lee Childs. I am also re-reading Coming Jobs War by Jim Clifton, which is very motivational for anyone trying to grow their business.
You are most proud of …?
My three boys: Richard, my husband; Ev, my 12-year-old; and Benjamin, my 5-year-old. They all constantly impress me.
Thank you, Caren, for kicking off our 2014 FACES of Memphis and for being an inspiration to so many.
And thank you to Christen Jones Photography for the lovely images of Caren!