Niccoya ‘Nicky’ Dobson was appointed as the Inaugural Chief Public Defender to the newly created Defender District 5 serving Duplin, Jones, and Sampson counties.
She was sworn in by the Honorable Judge Henry Stevens IV, Senior Resident Superior Court for the 4th Judicial District. She took the oath of office January 10; a formal swearing-in ceremony will be held at a later date.
Dobson is a native of Duplin County. She graduated with honors from N.C. State University and the North Carolina Central University School of Law.
She served as a public defender in Boston prior to being called to return home to southeastern North Carolina. With a goal to build a career of service around diverse work experience, she worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Onslow County where she prosecuted everything from misdemeanor traffic matters to first degree murder. After serving for four years, Ms. Dobson became an Assistant Public Defender in New Hanover County, defending clients in district and superior court focusing on high level felonies. As a public defender, she took an active role in training defenders and displayed an aptitude for leadership within the office. Ms. Dobson felt called to work within her home community and opened Dobson Legal in 2021, where she worked across Duplin, Sampson, New Hanover, Pender, and Onslow counties representing retained and appointed clients on high level felonies and civil matters.
When Ms. Dobson learned the legislature had created a defender district in the area she calls home, she felt called to serve.
She said, “In my life, there has been no greater call than the call to serve. When the call came from home, I knew this was the perfect opportunity to help where it is needed most.”