|Nicole I. Khoury received the Community Service Award for Attorneys 40 and Under at the Ohio State Bar Foundation’s Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner on Nov. 8 in Columbus.A Toledo criminal defense attorney and part-time public defender for Lucas County, Khoury is also well-known as the lead singer for Arctic Clam, a Toledo-based rock cover band. By day she meets clients in their jail cells, but at night, fans flock to see her perform in numerous Toledo venues as covers such diverse artists as Janis Joplin, Radiohead, Johnny Cash and Lady Gaga.
Khoury first combined her passion for the law with her love of music in 2008 when she started Project iAm, a foundation that provides Northwest Ohio families affected by autism with resources and financial assistance. Khoury was inspired to establish the foundation through her association with a friend whose child struggles with the disorder. She learned first-hand that families rarely have the time or energy to advocate effectively for the needs of their autistic children, and need financial help to secure appropriate resources and treatment.
A self-described “doer,” Khoury single-handedly launched Project iAm from her home to meet the needs of families in her community. With support from her fellow musicians and lawyers, she has held yearly Acoustics for Autism concerts and other fundraising events that have brought more than $55,000 in scholarship aid to the foundation since 2008.
Khoury, who manages all of the concerts on a shoestring budget, has no problem wearing her sweats to move chairs for 4,000 attendees at a fundraiser and accepts no compensation for her hard work. For her dedication to iAm, the Toledo Bar Association in 2012 recognized the impact she has made in the community. According to Project iAM’s mission, all children laugh, cry, love and play, no matter what their differences may be.