Karen Nicolson

Center for Elder Law & Justice

Contact Details

Center for Elder Law & Justice


Karen L. Nicolson, Esq. has been CEO of the Center for Elder Law & Justice, formerly Legal Services for the Elderly, Disabled or Disadvantaged of Western New York Inc. for the past twenty years.  The Center for Elder Law & Justice is a 55 person law office that provides free civil legal services to seniors in 11 counties in Western New York.  As CEO, she feels privileged to support its mission to utilize the legal system to help our clients live independently and with dignity.   In addition to direct civil legal services, CELJ is a trustee for the Western New York Coalition Pooled Trust for disabled persons in Western New York with over 11 million dollars under trust.  Ms. Nicolson supervises the management of the trust and works with its board and fellow trustees to help set policy and investment strategy.  Finally, CELJ is court-appointed Article 81 Guardian for more than 100 low-income individuals.


Ms. Nicolson graduated from the SUNY Buffalo School of Law in 1989. She currently serves on the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Legal Aid and Co-Chairs the LiveWell Erie County Task Force, Older Adults Subcommittee. She is on the board of the New York Legal Services Coalition, a statewide trade association of 49 legal services/ legal aid organizations. In addition, she serves on the Elder Justice Working Group through the NYS Unified Court System under the leadership of Judge Deborah Kaplan, Statewide Coordinating Judge for Family Violence Cases. She was also a founding a member of the Advisory Committee of the Crime Victims