Nicole Rawling, Esq.
Chief Compliance Advisor – Textiles (CCA) Material Innovative Initiative
Nicole is the attorney founder of Material Innovation Initiative, a non-profit that brings accelerates the development of next-generation sustainable materials for the fashion, automotive, and home goods industries, with a focus on replacing animal-based materials.
Nicole was involved in the BeVeg vegan standard development for textiles and fashion. She was the expert attorney advisor consulted in the development of the textiles portion of the BeVeg standard, which is the first and only ISO accredited vegan certification standard in the world. Nicole is proud to serve on the BeVeg executive team as Chief Compliance Advisor for the textiles/fashion/furniture sector and approve the related BeVeg vegan training program.
Nicole is a California licensed Personal Injury Attorney with 20 years experience in legal practice. Nicole has an undergrad degree from Georgetown University with a concentration in law and a juris doctorate from Northwestern University School of Law. She started her legal practice in the Department of Justice in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. During her time at the DOJ, Nicole worked on the civil cases arising out of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, a consent decree against the Teamsters Union, and the anthrax investigation at the Morgan Post Office facility. Nicole received two awards for her work at the DOJ.
In law school, Nicole started taking on wrongful death and injury cases because she wanted to use her law degree to help people. Her first case was a mass tort action against Mars Corporation which she led for over two years. During law school, Nicole also worked for the Honorable Ann C. Williams, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge for the Seventh Circuit. While working for Judge Williams, Nicole worked on employment, immigration, criminal, and civil rights cases. In 2005, Nicole received the Harold Washington Leadership Award. During law school, she also founded the Northwestern Journal of Law and Social Policy and served as the Editor in Chief for the publication’s first year.
After graduating law school, Nicole worked in litigation at the international firm, Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe in both their New York and San Francisco offices. In this role, Nicole represented multi-national companies, directors, and officers in complex commercial litigation, criminal defense, corporate governance issues, internal investigations, contract disputes, and class actions; she advised numerous special committees of boards of directors in internal investigations; she argued multiple motions to dismiss, summary judgment, and discovery issues in Federal court; and she took and defended multiple fact and expert witness depositions.
- Represented numerous witnesses throughout multiple highly publicized criminal trials.
- Won the dismissal of securities class action seeking hundreds of millions of dollars from a leading software firm, its board members, and executives.
- Represented the special committee of the board of directors of a technology company in its investigation of past stock option grant practices.
- Served as lead counsel for the Humane Society of the United States in a multi-million dollar environmental case against Olivera Foods.
- Wrote amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court for the Animal Legal Defense Fund in United States v. Stevens on first amendment issues related to depictions of animal cruelty.
- Served as lead counsel in ALDF’s federal anti-competition and false advertising case against Hudson Valley Foie Gras challenging their “The Humane Choice” advertising slogan.
- Served as lead counsel on multi-district environmental investigation.
Nicole lives in the Bay Area with her two boys and numerous foster animals. Nicole went to law school to help bring justice for those who need help. She loves helping her clients when they need a trusted advocate the most. Nicole is compassionate, understanding, yet a determined and unforgiving legal advocate for her clients.
(Past & Present)
- Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch
- Orange County Animal Services Advisory Board
- Humane Carolina
- Animal Legal Defense Fund
- Family Dog Rescue
- Wonder Dog Rescue
Nicole has fostered over 100 cats, 200 dogs, and 5 squirrels.
Honors & Accomplishments
Quotes by Nicole Rawling
Being an excellent lawyer requires determination, skill, and compassion. I love being a personal injury lawyer because I can fight for my clients when they are hurt the most. I love the feeling of getting justice for those in need.
My favorite part of my job is being a voice for the voiceless. Advocating for those who need it most, from people hurt in accidents to animals needing protection, helping others gives my life meaning.