An Interview with Staff Attorney, Nicole Huddleston
Casey Rocheteau: How did you start working for DJC, and what drew you to the organization?
Nicole Huddleston: I lived in Detroit proper for 27 years, and am actively trying to move back. I’ve always been passionate about helping my people change the trajectory of their lives, and so I felt that the work of DJC was in line with my passion.
A friend of mine was familiar with Amanda through the National Conference of Black Lawyers. He knew my interests, sent me the job posting, and said “I think you should apply.” I visited the website and the position seemed amazing! I also thought it would be great to work under Amanda’s tutelage, and learn from her. The rest is history!
CR: So what drove you to want to be a lawyer?
NH: I’ve always genuinely liked helping people and I think that practicing law is my vehicle to do just that! Becoming a lawyer was a childhood dream of mine, that became a reality. I think I always wanted to be a lawyer because of the depictions of attorneys on TV. One of my favorite movies is A Time to Kill because I love Matthew McConaughey’s role in the film. His character demonstrates the difference that attorneys can make in a given case. I also was inspired by Claire Huxtable and the way she balanced her family and her career on the show.
CR: So on a day to day basis, what are you doing? What are you working on right now?
NH: As a Legal Services Practice attorney, I work with returning citizens and court-involved individuals to help remove their legal barriers, such as tickets and warrants. Such barriers can prevent a person from obtaining housing, having a valid driver’s license, or even getting a job. I help clients navigate these waters by accompanying them to court, making arguments to have the warrant lifted, and when possible, getting them placed on more reasonable payment plans so that they can go on living their lives.
I also help our clients with landlord tenant matters and family law matters. For example, while a client was in jail he or she may have missed work, lost a job, and missed a rent payment, resulting in a threat of eviction. Similarly, while a client was incarcerated he or she may not have had any visits from their children and also may have lost custody. In some instances, a child may have been born while the client was incarcerated. We work to keep families together by ensuring that the parent-child relationship is preserved!
This doesn’t encompass all the ways I can help, but that’s a snippet of my work thus far.
CR: What’s your favorite thing to do in Detroit in the fall?
NH: Fall is my favorite season. I love going to cider mills to have donuts and hard cider! I also genuinely love trying new restaurants around the city with my friends and family.