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Feb. 22, 2019
Nicole Griese knew she wanted to be an attorney back when she was still a student at Roosevelt High School.
Not too many years later, she’s the leader of her own firm with a growing practice.
Griese, a Sioux Falls native, was drawn to the legal profession as a teen volunteer for Sioux Empire Teen Court, where she served as a youth attorney in the juvenile diversion program.
She would interview clients accused of crimes such as underage drinking and marijuana use, as well as their parents, and then prepare arguments and conduct courtroom examinations in front of a jury of youth peers.
After volunteering for three years, she earned a scholarship to USD, where she earned a degree in criminal justice. She went on to earn her Juris Doctor from Charlotte School of Law in North Carolina in 2014 and was a visiting student at the University of Minnesota.
Her first job in the legal profession was in Sioux Falls at King Law Firm, where she focused on personal injury, workers’ compensation and Social Security disability, followed by Eich Law in Hartford, where she practiced criminal and family law.
She formed Griese Law Firm PC in 2018 in Sioux Falls at age 28.
“I love what I do and rarely feel like I’m ‘working.’ Opening my own business and practicing law full time has been my greatest achievement,” she said. “It was scary going on my own but exhilarating.”
Starting with a handful of clients and working out of the 300 Building at 300 N. Dakota Ave., she hired a full-time paralegal months after opening and now is moving to an office at 311 S. Phillips Ave. above CH Patisserie. She hopes to add another employee later this year.
“We have been busy,” Griese said. “I went from a handful of clients starting out to helping nearly 200 clients in my first year on my own.”
She primarily practices personal injury and criminal defense, with some family law, Social Security disability and civil litigation, as well as serving as a part-time public defender on felony cases in Lincoln County.
“I went on my own for professional and personal growth, the ability to choose what areas of law I want to do and controlling my calendar so that I can give back to our community,” she said.
“I give substantial credit for Griese Law success to my husband, my parents and mentors. It is incredibly important as a new small-business owner and solo-practice lawyer to have people to call, and I am incredibly grateful for all the support I’ve gotten along the way.”
The flexibility she finds as a small-business owner has been put to use volunteering with several organizations, including the one that started her career.
She’s still connected with the Sioux Empire Teen Court, but now as a judge and mentor to youth attorneys.
“I couldn’t have done it without all the mentorship and advice of more experienced lawyers that have paved the way for young lawyers like me,” she said.
Her law firm is only a year old, and she has already worked with 200 clients. Meet the founder of Griese Law Firm, who’s moving into a new office with plans to grow.