As a former Lake County Prosecutor, I get the system. For six years, I prosecuted people who were investigated and then charged with crimes ranging from drunk driving to murder. I worked on the side of the State of Indiana fighting defense attorneys to enforce the laws of the state and defend the actions of the police officers in the same courts and before many of the same judges that I practice in front of today. Now, as a defense attorney, I apply daily the knowledge and experience that I acquired many years ago from being a prosecutor. The knowledge that I have of how the real system works, gives my clients an advantage as I fight to protect and defend people charged with criminal acts today.
I knew when I was 13 that I wanted to be an attorney. My desire to help people that were harmed by another person motivated me to complete my under-graduate degree in three years, just so I could get to law school. While in law school at Valparaiso University, I focused my studies on litigation, trial classes, evidence, and criminal law and procedures. I was on the Mock Trial Team and participated in the Criminal Law Clinic where I represented indigent members of Porter County and the surrounding areas who were charged in criminal cases. In fact, through the Criminal Law Clinic at Valparaiso University I represented a gentleman who was in the custody of the St. Joe County Jail and was beaten by jail officers. I fought St. Joe County on his behalf in a jury trial before a Federal Judge and won. My experience as a law student of assisting someone who was treated unfairly and illegally by another furthered my desire to make a career of helping people.
Today, as a defense attorney, my clients know that they have an attorney who listens to their story with compassion and understanding. I view it as my responsibility to insure that my clients understand the legal process that they have been thrust into, the roles of all the parties, and what they can expect at every step of the process. Overall, I strive to ease fears and answer the unknown for the individuals who I represent. My clients know from their first appointment with me that I require that they take an active role in their case. I cannot use my experience and knowledge of the system to obtain the greatest result for my clients without cooperation, information, and honesty from each of them. Winning results and peace of mind can result when we work together.
Nicole is a Partner at Westland Kramer & Bennett PC. She was born in Lansing Michigan and grew up on the west side of Lansing. In 1994, Nicole graduated cum laude from Alma College, a private liberal arts college in Alma, Michigan, with degrees in History and Political Science. Nicole went on to graduate with her J.D. from Valparaiso University in August 1997 and sat for the Indiana Bar Exam in February 1998. Nicole was a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney at the Office of the Lake County Prosecuting Attorney in Crown Point, Indiana from 1998 to 2004. In 2004, she went into private practice where she furthers her desire to help people.