Nicholas J. Rine has extensive experience as a trial lawyer in private practice and has tried cases in a wide variety of state and federal courts and agencies. In the 1980s, he held several offices, including president, in the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association. Since joining the Michigan clinical faculty in 1989, he has taught in the Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic (formerly the General Clinic), the Child Advocacy Law Clinic, the Urban Communities Clinic, the Asylum Clinic, the Women and the Law Clinic, and the Pediatric Advocacy Clinic. He also has taught ethics and negotiation courses. Since 2004, he also teaches every year a course on Law and Development which connects to students' volunteer work in internships in developing nations.
Prof. Rine is a member of the executive committee of the U-M Center for Southeast Asian Studies. In addition, he directs Michigan Law's Program for Cambodian Law and Development which, among other things, arranges internships for students in Cambodia. Since the mid-1990s he has spent periods of time in Cambodia every year, working for a variety of human rights organizations and teaching at the Royal University of Law and Economics in Phnom Penh. While there on a Fulbright grant in 2000, he published a textbook on legal ethics in English and Khmer. He frequently teaches in training programs for legal services programs, both in Cambodia and in the United States. He serves on the board of directors of the Michigan Unemployment Advocacy Project and two legal services NGOs in Cambodia—Legal Aid of Cambodia and the Community Legal Education Center. Prof. Rine received bachelor's and law degrees from Wayne State University.