Nicole Faut’s ambition didn’t come from her years of education – in fact, the inverse is more true: her educational pursuit was a product of the ambition she already held within. Nicole grew up very poor with challenging family circumstances, but that didn’t stop her from becoming the first of her family to graduate from high school. She then paved her own way to college by winning a competitive scholarship to attend any university- the Gates Millennium Scholarship.
Nicole chose to attend Virginia Tech where she was an incredibly active student leader for women’s issues and political campaigns. She also became increasingly pressed to better understand the hardships of working-class families in local communities, which led her to receive the immersive 9 month Fulbright Fellowship in India.
While in India completing her Fulbright Research Fellowship, Nicole was introduced to artists struggling to make ends meet. The artists were looked down upon socially and professionally as they were denied access to showcases, schools, and compensation for completed projects. Nicole quickly realized the social issues surrounding the artists were akin to labor and employment violations she witnessed in the United States. She returned home from the fellowship with a clear mission: increase her education and experience in law and policy in order to help workers like the artists in India.
Mural of Tigers in the JP Nagar Neighborhood of Bangalore, India; The artists with whom Nicole worked created murals such as these.
Once in law school, she was a recipient of yet another highly competitive fellowship: the Peggy Browning Fellowship. This fellowship was established for law students with a passion for labor rights to work in the field before graduating. It also played a key role in helping Nicole realize that labor and employment law was where she needed to be in order to help struggling workers and communities fight back against workplace injustices and inequities.
After graduating from CUNY in 2018, Nicole devoted her newfound knowledge and power to help sexual harassment and assault victims find legal representation. She has since joined McGillivary Steele Elkin LLP where assisted with a firm-wide initiative to have MSE’s own attorneys join the Legal Network for Gender Equity to further its mission and help more victims in need of representation.
A press release by the Peggy Brown Fellowship reposted by CUNY announcing Nicole’s grant can be found here.
An article by Virginia Tech about Nicole receiving the Fulbright Fellowship can be found here.
Read more about Nicole’s passions and expertise in her full biography here.