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Mike Hollingsworth is a partner at Nichols Zauzig and has been with the firm since 2014. Find out more about him and how he became the passionate attorney he is today.


Phillies, Eagles, Flyers, 76ers. These sports teams defined Mike’s childhood growing up outside Philadelphia, in suburban New Jersey. “I’ll always truly be from up there, no matter how long I live in the D.C. area,” Mike says. “My son will obviously be from Virginia. But he’ll be taught the right way.”

Life in NoVa.

Even though the Philadelphia area has his heart, Mike enjoys living near “the capital city of the most powerful country in the world.” He attended law school at Catholic University and followed a lifelong interest in politics to work as a White House intern, and later on Capitol Hill. He’s had some unforgettable experiences, including meeting President Bush and sitting up close for several State of the Union addresses. He worked on the floor of the House of Representatives and witnessed several historic votes, not to mention “the arm twisting that goes into getting representatives to vote one way or another.” He now lives in Old Town Alexandria, a “beautiful place with fascinating history.”


Mike’s grandparents shaped his life in a lot of ways. His mom’s father was an Italian immigrant who put himself through college and started a business that was eventually a publicly traded company. In addition to his grandfather’s drive, Mike admired his devotion to family. “He loved us more than anything. I could never wait to see him. We spent every summer together down on the shore.” Mike’s other grandfather was a brilliant lawyer and general counsel for Random House for many years. Every time he visited, his pop-pop presented him with a huge bag of new books to dive into. “Every time I saw him, he would give me dozens of books. Endless books. So, I had a lot of cool things to read growing up.” Despite the wide variety of material, Mike favored reference books like encyclopedias. Not surprising for someone who would become respected by peers and judges alike for his fact-based motions and arguments.

Why law?

Mike’s parents forecast his law career based on how much he liked to argue as a kid. And how really good he was. They said it came naturally. “I always kind of knew that’s what I would do,” he recalled. “I enjoy the intellectual exercise and the competition.”

Outside the courtroom.

Traveling, the beach and sports. Life doesn’t get much better than that during Mike’s off hours. He’s been going to the shore in New Jersey every summer his entire life. But the pull of familiarity is offset by his passion for international travel. “Since we have everything in this country, it’s so easy to forget what else is out there. It’s important to know what else is out there.” He is fascinated by different cultures, and by the similarities of people all over the world. Mike especially wants to visit the Middle East, Iran, North Korea—”places that have been vilified. Because I’ll bet they’re not what we all think they are. They’re just people, like you and me, at the end of the day.”

Mike is also a husband and a father, two roles he treasures. “Having lost my dad at a relatively young age, I want to make sure I am by my son’s side and with my family as much as possible.”

Why start in criminal law?

This is an easy answer for Mike. It’s about individual rights and fairness. He is a tenacious defender of the Bill of Rights. “Our founders were worried about day-to-day government encroaching on people’s lives and taking their freedoms away. Criminal defense work is an excellent way to check the government every single day.” As a college student, Mike saw a few peers’ promising futures rerouted by seemingly innocuous laws and apathetic legal representation. “I like to help people like. I may sometimes care more about their situation than they do. But maybe some people need that.” This attitude underlies the tenet of Mike’s practice: treat every case with equal urgency and dedication. “The courthouse is the one place where everybody is supposed to get a fair shot. Regardless. And that’s exactly how it should be. It’s my job to help people who really need it.”

The shift to civil litigation.

“It may not be obvious at first, but victims of negligence and abuse can be overpowered and marginalized just like those facing criminal charges. Like the government, insurance companies, healthcare providers, and corporations have immense resources and often try to outspend or intimidate their opponents. I cannot be intimidated.”

Why Nichols Zauzig?

“If you or a family member is facing a disaster or catastrophic injury, you need smart, dedicated legal help. We have the staff and capability to handle big cases.” That means having the time, research, contacts and experts a person needs when facing serious consequences. What also matters to Mike is the quality and work ethic of the firm’s attorneys and leadership. At Nichols Zauzig, “I respect what we’ve accomplished and how we run our business.”

Read about Mike’s professional experience & credentials.