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For Immediate Release
August 24, 2004

Nichols Named to Second Year on ABA IOLTA Commission

 

The president of the Michigan State Bar Foundation Margaret J. Nichols has been named to a second term on the American Bar Association's Commission on IOLTA (Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts).

A shareholder at Nichols, Sacks, Slank and Sendelbach of Ann Arbor, Ms. Nichols was first appointed to the Commission last year by then ABA president and former Detroit mayor, Dennis W. Archer.

The ABA's IOLTA Commission chairperson Darrell Jordan said the commission was fortunate to have Margo Nichols as a member. "Her commitment and skills enhance our work to support IOLTA programs and access to justice efforts around the nation," he said.

After the federal government, IOLTA programs are the nation's second largest funder of civil legal aid to the poor. More than $125 million from IOLTA funds was spent on civil legal aid last year through grants to nonprofit agencies that assist low- income families with critical legal needs. In Michigan, IOLTA is administered by the Michigan State Bar Foundation which receives net interest from pooled accounts containing deposits so small or held so briefly that they cannot produce net income for individual clients. The Foundation awards IOLTA grants to support civil legal aid for the poor and projects that improve the administration of justice.

In addition to Ms. Nichols work on the Commission and her Presidency of the Foundation, she has a successful family law practice of 27 years. She was honored for outstanding contributions to the legal profession in 2002 with the State Bar's Michael Franck Award. She is a founder and secretary of the newly formed Collaborative Law Institute of Michigan, a form of family dispute resolution in which there is a written commitment to find a solution outside of court. She has also achieved Practitioner Membership, the highest level of accreditation in the Association for Conflict Resolution, and is a Fellow and officer of the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

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