I have spent my extensive legal career in criminal and civil public defense and then as a court commissioner and judge pro tem, working to expand access to justice.

As a candidate for King County Superior Court Judge, I am committed to fairness and respect for all, demonstrating patience, empathy, and active listening.

I would be honored to earn your vote.


I’ve spent the past 30 years as a legal and community advocate for unrepresented and marginalized neighbors, providing representation in criminal and civil public defense and family law cases. In 2023, I was honored with an appointment to the King County Superior Court bench as a temporary court commissioner and judge pro tem. I was selected to attend the National Judicial College Judicial Academy to continue to develop my judicial skills last fall. I serve as a municipal court judge pro tem.

When Judge Darvas decided to retire from the bench at the end of this term, she contacted me, encouraging me to run for her seat as someone whose work she was familiar with as an attorney and judicial officer. I am honored and humbled.

About Nikole

Nikole initially practiced as an immigration lawyer, then spent the next few years at the Whatcom County Public Defender’s Office before returning home to King County. Nikole spent the next 23 years as a King County public defender, representing individuals in criminal, dependency, civil commitment, and juvenile cases.  She frequently went to trial on criminal and civil cases and argued countless motions. Nikole advocated for her colleagues by helping unionize public defense in King County and acted as an employee representative. In 2022, Nikole joined a small private family law practice to broaden her legal skills.

In 2023, King County Superior Court appointed her as a temporary Superior Court Commissioner and Judge Pro Tem. Helping to reduce the COVID-19 court backlog, she presided over criminal pleas, sentencings, and civil protection order cases. While there, she volunteered with National Adoption Day, the Charles V. Johnson Youth & Law Forum, and the Color of Justice youth visit to the court.  She has acted as a pro tem judicial officer in Federal Way and Des Moines Municipal Courts. Nikole was also recently appointed as an Industrial Appeals Judge.

Nikole went to the University of Washington, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. While in college, she worked several part-time jobs: in a print shop, at downtown offices, in food service, and at the FAA, where she received a service award. She volunteered as a notetaker and tutor for the Disabled Student Union.  In her last year of college, she was inspired by a professor who was one of the early women to graduate from law school. She volunteered at the Northwest Women’s Law Center, providing telephone service referrals for abused women. Nikole experienced domestic violence herself, being assaulted for “embarrassing” her then-boyfriend; she was resolute in leaving that relationship.

Nikole attended Seattle University School of Law, where she became involved in many activities, including acting as a research assistant to a law professor. The Washington State Trial Lawyers Association recognized her with a public service award.

Nikole is a mother and lives with her partner of 28 years, their dog, Thor, and four chickens. Her local family includes her stepfather, a Vietnam era veteran. She has lived in King County most of her life, moving from Hawaii as a young child. She grew up in Federal Way along with her three younger sisters. They lived with their mother, a registered nurse, and her former stepfather until they divorced. Accompanying her mother to the lawyer’s office and court, Nikole saw first-hand the stress of divorce on her mother and the impact of substance use disorder on her former stepfather.

Nikole strongly values volunteerism and regularly takes on a variety of opportunities, from preparing food and serving unhoused and food-insecure people to providing legal consultations at the King County Law Library and El Centro de la Raza law clinics.