Gov. Rick Scott recently appointed Dawn Nichols, of Ormond Beach, to the bench of the Seventh Judicial Court.
BY EMILY BLACKWOOD | STAFF WRITER
Dawn Nichols sits comfortably at her brand new desk, already cluttered with paperwork, files and pens. On just day four of her new job as judge on the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court, Nicholas said holding this position wasn’t always the plan.
“I always wanted to be a veterinarian when I was a kid,” Nichols said with a smile. “But when I went to college, I ended up majoring in criminal justice and really enjoyed it.”
Initially, Nichols had her sights set on being a probation officer. But a dead-end job hunt after graduating led her to enroll in law school. She eventually made her way to working in family court for a private law firm until her recent appointment.
Though she didn’t necessarily follow her childhood dreams, Nichols said she has fallen in love with what she does. And to satisfy her younger self, she and her husband of 21 years have a family of four furry animals at home.
“I think that I probably would have been a terrible vet,” Nichols said. “I would have wanted to save every one of them and give every one a home. You can’t do that and keep a practice open. For me, becoming a judge has been an evolutionary process. It’s kind of funny how what you think you want to do, you don’t always end up doing.”
Growing up a rule-follower, Nichols says she doesn't spend her personal time letting out any rebellious energy. When she is not on the bench, she can be found in her garden, planting organic veggies, or on the couch, reading.
“It probably sounds boring," Nichols laughed, "but I guess you don’t want a judge who does something unexpected.”