"I like the diversity," Jim said. "I haven't done anything that I haven't liked: criminal law, family law, contracts and some work for the city. It's stimulating to do it all."
Jim has practiced law since 2006. A 2002 graduate of Southwest Missouri State University, he completed his law degree at Ave Maria Law School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Jim said Ave Maria offered him a scholarship and he liked the school's philosophical approach.
"They had a focus on natural law," Jim said. "I had a class with Robert Bork and met a lot of interesting people from other universities."
After a summer at the South Bronx Education Foundation mentoring inner city boys, Jim passed the bar examination in Missouri in 2006 and accepted a clerkship with Aaron Sachs in Springfield.
"Personal injury cases from auto accidents is his main thing," Jim said. "I had a constant stream of cases and traveled all over the state. I was in Kansas City, St. Louis, Columbia and Jefferson City all the time. I'd handle cases from southwest Missouri to Cape Girardeau.
"In law school, they would talk about theoreticals. With claimants, I was able to work out their problems and deal with real lives. I liked it," Jim said.
Sachs also had a small number of workers compensation cases which Jim took on as a niche practice, which he developed.
After five years with Sachs, Jim accepted his father's invitation to come to Monett. He began on Jan. 1 and is working toward becoming a partner in the firm.
"I'm still doing workers comp claims," Jim said. "I hope to always do that. I really like it. There's also different types of people in different walks of life. My work was a little monotonous before. In auto accidents, there was constant tragedy."
Jim has purchased a home in Monett with his wife, Martha, and two children, daughter Hailee, 12, and son, James, 7 months.
"Coming back to Monett, there's less travel. I get to know people and the community better. I really missed that," Jim said.
Lack of familiarity had its downside in going into strange courthouses while working for Sachs.
"When I'd go, say, to Morgan County, the judge didn't know me, didn't want to and would treat me accordingly," Jim said. "The judges in the 39th Judicial Circuit are incredibly nice and willing to work with you. It's wonderful working with them. They're also active in trying to get attorneys who are starting out active in the courtroom. They're really great."
Jim sees himself spending the rest of his career in Monett.
"The main thing is I want to be a really proficient litigator, one of the best around here. That's my goal," he said.
For more information, call Jim at Randall, Boxx and Masri, 235-8688.