News and Information
March 09, 2021

Paul F. Nichols Receives Family Law Section’s 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

The Virginia State Bar Family Law Section has awarded its highest honor, the Betty A. Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award to Paul F. Nichols of Nichols Zauzig, P.C., with offices in Woodbridge, Manassas, and Stafford.

The award recognizes a lawyer 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. The award will be presented at the 2022 Advanced Family Law Seminar, at the Jefferson Hotel. 

Nichols practiced law with Robert Dech, Fred Welther, and Tom Mains for several years in the areas of personal injury and family law before he cofounded Nichols Zauzig with Charles Zauzig in 1989.  Betty Sandler, the 2015 recipient of this award, was a long-time partner of Nichols. 

Nichols Zauzig handles criminal defense, family law, and personal injury work, although Nichols concentrates in family law. 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, Nichols has practiced for 41 years, owned several businesses, and 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.

Updated: Mar 09, 2021