Paul F. Nichols is the 2021 recipient of the Virginia State Bar Family Law Section’s highest honor, the Betty A. Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award.
The award recognizes one member of the bar annually who has made a substantial contribution to the practice and administration of family law in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is given at the discretion of the VSB Family Law Section Board of Governors.
Mr. Nichols has practiced law for nearly 43 years with Nichols Zauzig, located in Woodbridge, Virginia. A fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Nichols has extensive litigation experience and helped create the family law section of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association in the 1980s. He has been on the board of governors of the Family Law section of the Virginia State Bar and is a frequent lecturer and author on family topics. Nichols has been a Commissioner in Chancery for the Circuit Court of Prince William County since 1985. He served in the Virginia General Assembly House of Delegates from 2008-2010, where he drafted and helped gain passage of several family laws in the Commonwealth.
In nominating Nichols, Carl J. Witmeyer II of The Witmeyer Law Firm in Ashland wrote: “No one that I know and have met in my 44 years as a practitioner in Virginia has exercised more efforts to improve the quality of justice in Virginia.”
A graduate of King’s College and George Mason University College of Law, Mr. Nichols has been the recipient of numerous peer awards including Best Lawyers in America, Washington DC and Virginia Super Lawyers, and Martindale-Hubbell’s preeminent AV rating. He devotes his charitable efforts to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Breast Cancer Awareness, among others.
To bring the arc of his family law practice full circle, Nichols was mentored early in his career by Betty A. Thompson, for whom the award is named, and considered her a close friend.