After her family emigrated from Santiago, Chile, Pilar C. Nichols was raised in Montgomery County, Maryland where she attended Thomas S. Wootton High School. Pilar obtained her Juris Doctor from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C., where she also received a specialized certificate from the Institute for Communications Law Studies. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania.
While in law school, Pilar served on the executive board of the Student Bar Association and was a writer for the Communication Law Conspectus: Journal of Communications Law and Policy. She also held positions on various other committees and student organizations, including the law schools admission committee. She interned for a Commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission and for a Judge of the Montgomery County Circuit Court.
A founding partner of the law offices of Tomes, Salter, Nichols & Gomez, LLC, in Montgomery County, Maryland, Pilar concentrates her practice in criminal and traffic defense, civil litigation, and family law. Prior to becoming a partner, Pilar founded The Law Offices of Pilar Nichols as a solo practitioner and private criminal defense attorney, having previously worked for a private law firm under one of Montgomery County’s top criminal lawyers. Prior to private practice, Mrs. Nichols served as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Prince George’s County and as Legislative and Regulatory Counsel for the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors.
In 2010, Pilar was among 15 Fellows appointed to the Maryland State Bar Association Leadership Academy, an exclusive 12-month program designed to assist attorneys to become leaders and offering opportunities for future leadership roles in the MSBA.
Pilar is the 2011-2012 President of the MHBA, prior chair and current member of the associations’ Judicial Nominations Committee. She is a barrister for the Montgomery County Inns of Court and a member of the Montgomery County Bar Association, District of Columbia Bar Association, Women’s Bar Association and Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney’s Association. She also participates yearly in pro bono activities to include the Montgomery County Bar Association’s “Bar Revue” and the Women’s Bar Association’s Fall Forum, “Prepare for Success. In addition to her law practice, Pilar is an Adjunct Professor at The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.