Nikki D. Kessling


Nikki Kessling helps employers navigate their businesses through the increasingly complex maze of federal, state, and local employment-related laws. Her practice covers a wide range of labor and employment concerns, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, requests for accommodation, wage and hour laws, employee leave, contract disputes, unemployment and benefits claims, corporate transactions, reductions in force, and other workplace matters, across a number of industries, including construction, finance, telecommunications, oil & gas, retail, and technology. She has represented and advised management in all aspects of employment-related disputes before federal and state courts, courts of appeal, federal and state administrative agencies, mediators, and arbitrators. For clients with alternative dispute resolution programs (“ADR”), she has successfully advocated for the enforcement of ADR agreements, correct implementation of program terms and conditions, and—where appropriate—pre-hearing resolution or dismissal.

Nikki counsels employers in assessing workplace legal compliance; negotiating and drafting compensation, separation, settlement, and other agreements; evaluating, drafting, and revising employment policies and handbooks; and developing proactive ways to resolve disputes.

During law school, Nikki served as the chief notes and comments editor of the Houston Law Review. She also served as a judicial intern for Judge Gray Miller of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas.


Professional Activities

As part of her commitment to pro bono service, Nikki has served as a volunteer for the Election Protection Hotline and the Nationalities Service Center’s Refugee Green Card Clinic. Nikki also provides pro bono employment counseling to nonprofit entities.



  • Texas
  • U.S. District Court - Southern District of Texas
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit


  • University of Houston Law Center, JD, summa cum laude
  • University of Houston, BA, summa cum laude