October 01, 2018

Feature Friday - Brian Nichols - October 19, 2018

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Welcome to Feature Friday!

Happy Friday to all! Today we are very excited to introduce you to one of the Co-Chairs of the Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law Conference, Brian Nichols.

Brian is a member of the Robinson+Cole's Health Law Group. He represents and advises hospitals, physician groups, nursing homes, community providers, and other health care entities on a range of transactional and regulatory health care law issues. Brian has broad experience in health law and business. Prior to joining the firm, he worked in several industries, including health insurance, aerospace/defense and electric utilities. Brian understands clients’ businesses, and crafts solutions which are legally compliant and allow clients to achieve their business objectives.

Q: What do you like about being a lawyer? 

Brian: I like finding creative solutions for my clients that work for their business needs – sometimes it is too easy to just say “no”!

Q: Why health law? 

Brian: Early in my career, I worked for a managed care company and became fascinated by the whole health care industry.  There are too many people in this country that think that a trip to their primary care doctor only costs $30 (their copay).  I like the pace and variety that a career in health law has brought to my life.

Q: What is one piece of advice that was given to you and has stuck with you?

Brian: Early in my career, the head of our practice group told all of the associates that, when explaining complicated legal issues to clients, think about how we would explain making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to an alien.  Take it step by step and assume nothing.  To this day, when reviewing work product for clients, I will still refer to the “peanut butter and jelly”!

Q: If you were stuck on a desert island, what three things would you want with you?

Brian: They aren’t really things, but I would want my wife and my two boys.  That would be a fun adventure we could tackle together.  If I had to actually choose three things, I would take a hammock, my iPad and a Frisbee.

Q: If you could give your 16-year-old self some advice, what would you say?

Brian: Don’t be such a procrastinator…don’t let unique opportunities pass you by!

Q: What animal best describes you and why?

Brian: I have been told that I have a “large personality” so maybe a monkey?

Q: If you only could eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Brian: Meatball grinders (or pretty much anything else in the sandwich category)…

Q: What is your favorite movie?

Brian: Highbrow answer - Shawshank Redemption.  Actual answer – Happy Gilmore.

Q: Tell us about one of your hobbies.

Brian: Between work and chasing my teenage boys around to all of their activities, I don’t have much time for hobbies. 

Q: How do you define success? 

Brian: Being happy and knowing that those around me are taken care of.

Q: What are three things on your bucket list? 

Brian: Vacation in Italy, see baseball games in all of the MLB ballparks, and learn how to play the guitar.

Q: What was your first job and what did you want to be when you grew up?

Brian: My first “job” out of college was a Naval officer.  I wanted to be a Navy pilot since I was in second grade, but I was medically retired from the Navy once we discovered that I had systemic lupus the week before I started flight school.  Sometimes life throws you curveballs that make your knees buckle.  You need to dust yourself off and get back in the box ready to swing at the next pitch.

Q: If you could uninvent one thing, considering the consequences of uninventing it, what would it be and why?

Brian: The pencil!  As a lefty, they always smudge and I hate them!

Q: Tell us about one of your proudest moments.

Brian: This sounds schmaltzy, but I am most proud of watching my two boys grow into young gentlemen with big dreams and senses of humor. 

Q: How does the Health Law Section impact you? 

Brian: The Health Law Section allows me to bring my practice to a national stage.  Whether you are a young associate or a seasoned partner, there are opportunities to speak, write and otherwise be involved in meaningful initiatives related to the practice of health law.

Q: Tell us about an embarrassing moment in your life.

Brian: Honestly, I typically don’t get embarrassed.  I make more than my fair share of mistakes/missteps, but I choose to not be embarrassed by them.  Each mistake or misstep is an opportunity to learn and, more importantly, to teach others.  Check that – I read what I just wrote and I am embarrassed by how cheesy that sounds!

Q: What do you like about being part of the Health Law Section? 

Brian: The people!  It doesn’t matter if you are a solo practitioner, a partner in a large firm or somewhere in between – everyone is treated with admiration and respect…like a colleague.  It feels like a family.  Every family has that one wacky uncle (I won’t point out the wacky uncles in the Health Law Section…maybe I am a wacky uncle), but you generally look forward to spending time with your family and sharing the wisdom.  There is a lot of wisdom in a lot of different facets of health law in the Health Law Section and the members of the Section are extremely willing to share that wisdom.

Join us for the Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law Conference March 13-16, 2019. Find more information HERE.


We would love to give a huge shout-out to Brian and thank him for participating in this week’s Feature Friday! Get to know your fellow HLS members and leaders by stopping by every Friday to check out a new feature. #FridaysAreForLawyers #MakingFridaysFunAgain

If you are interested in being featured, please contact me at, rachel.blakley@americanbar.org. All members are encouraged to participate!!!