Getting to Know Nicole Strickler of Messer Strickler

Even if she weren’t in the collections industry, Nicole Strickler would still be a litigator. That’s probably very helpful when it comes to negotiating with her two small children. What is probably not helpful in getting small kids to behave is Strickler’s love of winning. Nicole is set to be admitted before the Supreme Court soon, so we should check back on what will likely be a new career highlight. Although if she ever does win the lottery, that will likely send her off to travel the world. Read on to learn more about Nicole.


Name: Nicole Strickler

Company: Messer Strickler, Ltd.

Length of time at current company: One year

Length of time in industry: Nine years

How did you get your start in the industry?

My first job out of law school was working as a collection attorney filing lawsuits on behalf of financial institutions, assets purchasers, medical service providers, and other businesses. From there, I gained practical experience in common compliance issues faced by attorneys litigating consumer claims. I then transitioned into the defense of consumer financial services litigation.


What is your career highlight so far?

Litigating a recent FDCPA case before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals comes to mind. But, I am set to be admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States next week and expect that to be fulfilling!


When or how are you most productive?

I am most productive when I am in my office as opposed to working from home with two small children! I also find that I am most productive when a deadline is fast approaching.


Which industry professional do you admire most?

It’s too hard to limit my admiration to just one person as we have so many impressive and accomplished persons in our industry.


What is one thing you do better than everyone else?

Again, do I have to limit myself to just one? Just kidding. I think I am a creative thinker when it comes to case strategy.


What do you like most about this industry?

I like that I am supporting the basic premise that promises should be kept. If a person made a promise to pay, that promise should be honored.


What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?

Probably its image. I think the industry gets some undeserved bad press based on a few bad apples. The vast majority of the industry is made up of good people who try to be compliant and work with people for their mutual benefit. I think sometimes that fact gets lost in sensationalized articles on our industry.


If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?

I’d like to think I’d be traveling the world after winning the lottery. But, I’d probably be focused on some other area of litigation defense. I truly love being an attorney and litigating cases. I cannot realistically see myself doing anything else.


Describe a typical work day.

I am up early with my three-month old and three-year old getting them ready for the day. Then, I catch the commuter train from the suburbs to downtown Chicago. My day generally starts with coffee and whatever time-sensitive matters my clients have raised in the early morning or the previous night. Then, it’s on to emails and returning messages. And, finally once that is all completed, I am generally on to guiding my associates on various cases they are working or reviewing drafts of briefs and motions. In between, I am available for clients to discuss their cases as needed as I want to ensure that I am reachable directly. Then, back on the commuter train to the suburbs and dinner with the family.


What is your guilty pleasure?



What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Probably something along the lines of making sure you make time for your kids when they are young. They are only little for a short time. But, I also love my work. So, I try and remember to make special time for them too.


What are you currently reading?

You” by Caroline Kepnes. It’s a psychological thriller.


What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?

I love to win.


Who else would you like to see answer these questions?

Kelly Knepper-Stephens

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