Karen L. Phillips

Karen L. Phillips

East Lansing, Michigan

phone (517) 432-9000
(800) 550-5892 (Toll Free)
fax (517) 203-4448


View Karen Philips Curriculum Vitae

Ms. Phillips joined the Nichols Law Firm in October 2007, after practicing in a small 2 attorney firm in Lansing, Michigan. Her legal practice focuses on criminal defense and family law including divorce, child custody, and juvenile delinquency cases.

She has fought passionately for her clients and received many favorable resolutions. One case involved a client charged with a 4-year felony, with the end result being no conviction. Another case involved a custody action ending with the father receiving joint legal and joint physical custody of his young daughter, despite the ardent objections from the mother.  Ms. Phillips got a second OWI offense reduced to a Reckless Driving.  That result got the client less restrictive punishments from the Michigan Secretary of State.  In addition, Ms. Phillips secured a not guilty verdict for a client facing a felony drug offense. Most recently, Ms. Phillips won an acquittal on 3 charges stemming from an April 5, 2008 MSU gathering that was dubbed "Cedar Fest Riot".  The client was charged with three separate counts of Disorderly Conduct.  If found guilty, the client faced up to a one year ban from all Michigan public colleges and universities.  After a one day trial and roughly an hour of deliberation, the six member jury came back with not guilty on all three charges.


Ms. Phillips obtained her Juris Doctor from Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where she graduated cum laude and nearly one year ahead of schedule. During her tenure at Cooley Law School, Ms. Phillips was on the honor roll and deans lists for several terms and was actively involved with the Cooley Law Review; Thomas M. Cooley Journal of Practical and Clinical Law; Moot Court Board; and Mock Trial Board. During her time on the Law Review, her excellent research skills were specifically requested by the Board of Editors for the 2006 Annual Symposium entitled World Views Collide – A Dialogue on State-Authorized Embryonic Stem-Cell Research, Human Enhancements, Physician-Assisted Suicide and the Value of Life. As the basis for the symposium, Ms. Phillips researched the laws regarding stem cell research, genetic testing, and physician-assisted suicide throughout the United States and the world.

Ms. Phillips is on the WKAR Board.  Ms. Phillips is also a member of the WLAM Board, whose mission is to advance the interests of women members of the legal profession, to promote improvements in the admnistration of justice, and to promote equality and social justice for all people. She is also a board member for the Central Michigan University Alumni Association.

In addition to her practice of law, Ms. Philips has been lecturing on family law issues including divorce and child custody at the Women's Center of Lansing. Karen has also been elected as a director to the Eaton County Bar Association.


In addition to her extracurricular activities in law school, Ms. Phillips worked at the Brennan Law Library as a Reference Assistant. In that position, she worked with the reference librarians and learned the ins and outs of legal research that aided both in her ability to conduct the extensive research required for the 2006 Law Review Annual Symposium as well as conducting research for Cooley Law School professors.

As a student attorney at the Washtenaw County Office of the Public Defender, Ms. Phillips became familiar with the criminal law. In the felony unit, she had exposure to high-level and low-level felony cases, including an 11 count Bank Robbery case where the client faced life in prison.

Ms. Phillips earned her Bachelors Degree from Central Michigan University in Business Administration. She worked in the field of Accounting for several years while residing in Chicago, Illinois. Ms. Phillips is also a native of Bay City, Michigan, where she graduated from John Glenn High School.

As a practicing attorney, Ms. Phillips is a member in good standing of the State Bar of Michigan. In addition, she is a member of the Ingham County Bar Association.

Ms. Phillips has been certified by the manufacturer of the breath test instrument that is used in Michigan.

If you have any questions, feel free to be in touch with me.

Meet Nichols Lawyer Karen L. Phillips

Attorney Phillips is equipped with the knowledge and integrity to go to bat for you no matter your criminal or family law situation. Email Karen at kphillips@nicholslaw.net or call to schedule a consultation at (517) 432-9000.

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Peer Recognition

Mike Nichols is a national leader in drunk driving defense. He is a member of the Forensic Committee and Michigan delegate to the National College for DUI Defense. He is also a Sustaining Member of the College. Nichols is also a founding member of the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys; a member of the American Chemical Society; an associate member of he American Academy of Forensic Science, Adjunct Professor of Forensic Evidence in Criminal Law and OWI Law and Practice at Cooley Law School. He is also author of the West OWI Practice book and several chapters in other books on science and the law.

Mike Nichols is recognized by his peers in Michigan as a “SuperLawyer” in DUI/Criminal Defense. Nichols has also been asked to speak at conferences by groups such as the NCDD; Various Bar Associations in other states.