James Graves, Jr. is a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Prior to his federal appointment in 2011, he had been a justice on the Mississippi Supreme Court.
Judge Graves began his legal career as a staff attorney at Central Mississippi Legal Services in 1980. He then worked in the private practice of law for three years, before returning to public service work. He served as legal counsel for both the Health Law Division and the Human Services Division of the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office. He also worked as Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Mississippi and served as the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement in the Mississippi Department of Human Services. In 1991, Judge Graves was appointed as a circuit court judge in Hinds County, Mississippi. He was appointed to the Mississippi Supreme Court in 2001.
Judge Graves has served as a Teaching Team Member of the Trial Advocacy Workshop at Harvard Law School since 1998 and he has also held the position of adjunct professor at Millsaps College, Tougaloo College, and Jackson State University. He has taught courses in media law, civil rights law, and sociology of law and is a jurist-in-residence at Syracuse University School of Law.
EDUCATION: Millsaps College, B.A.; Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, M.P.A.; Syracuse University School of Law, J.D.