Meet James B. Justice
James grew up in a corner of northeast Alcorn County called the Rock Hill Community just outside of Corinth, Mississippi.
He attended Alcorn Central Elementary, Middle and High Schools in Glen, Mississippi. James loved sports, playing football and tennis, and excelled academically, graduating as salutatorian of his class. He received an Associate of Arts Degree with Honors in Political Science from Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville, Mississippi, and he served as Vice-President of the Student Government Association.
James went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Mississippi, graduating Magna Cum Laude. James finished his education by attending the University of Mississippi School of Law, where he received his Juris Doctor and graduating Cum Laude. James was an officer on the Moot Court Board while in law school as well as serving in other volunteer and leadership positions.
Since graduating from law school, James has lived in Oxford and volunteered for the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society, the Oxford School District, the Oxford-Lafayette Literacy Council, as well as other local and regional organizations.
What do you like the most about being a lawyer?
At the end of the day, what I love about being an attorney is the ability to help people. That help is different in each and every case.
Sometimes it’s helping the parent see their child when they’ve been denied that right for days, weeks, or even months.
Sometimes it’s defending someone against criminal allegations when they are truly innocent.
Sometimes it’s helping people facing criminal charges get a second chance.
What sorts of injustice do you hope to alleviate?
One of my favorite Bible verses is this one from the book of Micah:
"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the lord require of you?But to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?"
That verse reminds us all to seek justice. And in order to do that we must fight injustice. But it also reminds that we must love mercy not only for ourselves but for others.
I believe in counseling my clients to above all else do the right thing, whether or not it is a legal requirement.
Many people are marginalized in modern American society. I see the privilege of my position within the legal system as one of trust where I can fight for my clients in order to remove spouses and children from abusive households, to help those dealing with addiction or substance abuse issues to find help, and as a merciful hand and ear within the justice system, and to generally help people who are confused, scared, or uncertain about their legal options.
Do You Have Any Hobbies?
Swimming, playing cards and board games, my dog Scout (basset hound), dining out in Oxford and other culinary arts, enjoying a well-crafted cocktail, and Ole Miss sporting events.
I also like to donate my time and money to the Oxford Humane Society.
Tell Me About Brigitte.
I’m happily engaged to my best friend, Brigitte Rankin, and we are the proud parents of a 5th grader in the Oxford School District. We’re regularly involved in school related activities as well as functions involving the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society as well as other local groups.
Why did you stay in Oxford after attending Law School at the University of Mississippi?
I love this community.
I moved to Oxford as many people do to attend Ole Miss, and upon graduating from law school I worked for a law firm in Tupelo and commuted.
After gaining valuable experience and contacts in the legal community, I decided to open my own firm in Oxford. I can't imagine living and working anywhere else.
Why do you love Ole Miss?
My older brother of 8 years introduced me to Oxford and Ole Miss. He attended Ole Miss in the 90's, and I was very fortunate to have him include me in his life here.
Those experiences laid the foundation for not only my love of Ole Miss sports but the academic side of the University as well as the Oxford community.
What I love most in this area is the people. There are so many kind, caring, and open-minded people in the Oxford community that I could not imagine myself living and practicing law anywhere else.
Any role models as a lawyer?
Abraham Lincoln is one of my role models as well as Atticus Finch from the book “To Kill A Mockingbird.”
The thing I like about Lincoln is his reputation for honesty and fair-dealing, and his ingenuitive way to find a solution within the system.
What I like about Atticus Finch is his courage. He may be one of the most courageous figures in all of literature because of the fact that he even though he lost, he stood up for what was right despite the overwhelming pressure of his community. Wisdom would’ve told him to be quiet and not rock the boat.
That’s even more scarce in our modern society and our opinion to be swayed by Twitter and Facebook and other media. A backbone is very rare.