Law student serves as vice commissioner of program


By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Nicholas Hayes wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, a police officer—but not necessarily in that law enforcement role. Instead, after shadowing an attorney in his hometown, he knew as soon as he left the courthouse that he wanted to study law.

Exposed to the inner workings of the criminal justice system from an early age, and also with an interest in history, Hayes earned his undergrad degree in political science and government from Western Michigan University before heading to Wayne State University Law School, where he particularly appreciates the faculty.

“The professors are truly invested in the success of their students,” he says. “Every professor I’ve had has been willing to provide advice and guidance.”

Now a rising 3L student and the new vice commissioner of the Wayne Law Mock Trial program, Hayes enjoys all the experience and skill development that Mock Trial offers.

“Being a part of Mock Trial has allowed me to argue in front of judges and develop my abilities to argue effectively,” he says. “These are the same experiences new attorneys have to go through and being a part of Mock Trial allows me to get that head start on that.

“I’m most excited as vice commissioner to work with the rest of the organization to continue to grow the program and help it reach new successes.”

Hayes is working at Quicken Loans in Detroit, where he previously worked during undergrad.

“Currently, I’m working on the contract team, where I get the chance to work on a wide range of issues and topics relating to contracts,” he says. “I’ve helped draft different agreements, like non-disclosure agreements, and independent contractor agreements. Quicken is such a unique place to work and is always looking to get involved with exciting projects, I’m grateful to get the chance to help out where I can.” 

In 11 months clerking at Segal, McCambridge, Singer, & Mahoney in Novi, Hayes had the opportunity to work on the same type of maters he would as a new associate.

“The attorneys helped me continue to learn and worked closely with me to make sure I truly understood the impact and importance of the work,” he says.

In 2015, he clerked at Liggett & Ripley PLC, a small firm near Kalamazoo.

“I was able to work hand-in-hand with an attorney, and she was extremely helpful in guiding me along the pace of applying to law schools and really help start me on a good path,” he says.  

While his current legal obsession revolves around autonomous vehicles and the impact they will make on everyone, Hayes would like a legal career in tax or transactions.

“I also hope that at some point down the road I can merge my interest in sports with the law in some way,” he says.

In his leisure time, the Canton native enjoys golf and reading; coaches varsity hockey at Salem High School; and volunteers for other youth sports teams in the
Metro Detroit area. He is proud to study and work in the Motor City.

“Everything about Detroit has this certain grit,” he says. “It’s a true blue collar city that is full of hard-working people and you can see that in the rebirth of the city.”