Leslie Nixon is the daughter of the firm’s founder, David Nixon, and was his partner for 34 years, since her graduation from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1981. From him, she learned the values which guide her as a lawyer – hard work, integrity, giving back to the community, and supporting the dignity of individuals.
Leslie grew up in New Boston, and graduated from Goffstown High School in 1974, where she was salutatorian and a member of the National Honor Society. She then attended Smith College and spent her junior year at Dartmouth College. She majored in Government, was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, and received the Dawes Prize, the award for the highest rank in the Government Department. She attended the University of Pennsylvania and was a member of the National Moot Court Team, graduating cum laude.
During her high school years, Leslie worked at various jobs, including the Ferretti’s supermarket snack bar in Manchester, and babysat her 5 siblings, rode her beloved Appaloosa “Red” in riding and jumping competitions, and learned to ski and hike in New Hampshire’s mountains. She also enjoyed working as an “office girl” at her father Dave Nixon’s then law firm of Nixon, Christy & Tessier. When he decided to run for Governor in 1974, she volunteered to serve as one of his drivers as he toured the State meeting factory workers, business owners, political activists, parade and fair-goers, and as many of New Hampshire’s wonderful citizens as he could. Despite the long hours and eventual disappointment when he lost, Leslie learned she loved working for and helping people in the political process, which led to her decision to major in Government.
During college she continued to work extra jobs, including kitchen work, researcher and secretarial work for her professors, and her favorite, assistant to Smith’s esteemed Music Director Iva Dee Hiatt, who had been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). As a result of meeting the public relations director of the Merrimack Anheuser Busch facility, Leslie was offered a job as a tour guide, and spent several summers teaching people about the beer brewing process and the famous Clydesdales. She interrupted two of the summers to go on a whitewater rafting trip on the Green River in Utah with her family, and to be a page for the New Hampshire delegation to the 1976 Republican Convention. After graduating from college Leslie worked for an investment counselor in Chilmark, on Martha’s Vineyard. During her law school career Leslie worked in the campus post office, as a clerk for a small Philadelphia law firm, and during the summers as a page for Congressman Jim Cleveland, and a clerk for the Boston law firm of Hill and Barlow and the Honolulu law firm of Goodsill Anderson and Quinn.
As she neared the end of law school, Leslie was faced with a difficult decision. She had a job offer from a prestigious New York City law firm, but knew she eventually wanted to return to New Hampshire. She had worked during winter breaks for her father’s law firm, and one of his partners encouraged her not to take the New York job, but to join the firm. That decision was one she has never regretted.
During her law career, in addition to representing clients in court and before administrative agencies in all areas of personal injury, including medical negligence, products liability, car crashes, workers’ compensation, and employment law, including wrongful discharge, gender, race, and disability discrimination, and civil rights, Leslie has advocated for her clients’ interests in the New Hampshire Legislature, in which she served between 1986 and 1988, and as a member and officer of numerous professional associations.
She is a past president and long-time board member of the New Hampshire Association for Justice (formerly New Hampshire Trial Lawyers’ Association) and current board member and former executive committee member of the American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America). She is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association Board of Governors, and New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association. She the New Hampshire Chapter president of the American Board of Trial Advocates, which is an invitation-only group requiring its members to have tried numerous jury trials. She has served on the Board of New Hampshire Legal Assistance, which provides legal services to low income residents, and continues to support its efforts financially.
After 9/11 Leslie volunteered to represent the widow of a man killed when a plane hit the tower in which he was working and helped her recover a substantial award from the Victims’ Compensation Fund. Leslie has received several awards, including a Distinguished Service award from the American Association for Justice, and has been recognized as a New England Super Lawyer. Leslie has presented at seminars and national conventions on the subjects of medical negligence, damages, expert witnesses, psychiatric malpractice, insurance law and workers’ compensation, among other areas.
In her spare time, she enjoys skiing, hiking, swimming, biking, and traveling with her husband Lee Nyquist and four surviving children. Her beloved son Clifford Nyquist died in a swimming pool accident at the age of 15 while a student at St. Paul’s School, and she and Lee created a charitable trust in his honor which funds scholarships to students at Goffstown High School and The Derryfield School. She is an active member of the New Boston Community Church, which honors Cliff with the annual Clifford Nyquist Duck Race, and of the Gunstock Ski Club, which hosts an annual Night Slalom in Cliff’s honor; she volunteers at both events as well for other charitable and civic organizations.
During David Nixon’s lifetime Leslie worked closely with her father on many cases, including one which resulted in an important decision by the New Hampshire Supreme Court advancing the rights of injured workers, Appeal of Kelly. Sadly, David Nixon did not live to learn of that decision, and Leslie misses him terribly, but is honored to be able to continue his commitment to his clients, his community, his state, and his country.
For legal help from an accomplished New Hampshire attorney with 40 years of experience, contact The Nixon Law Firm, PLLC today.