November 8, 2011
ATLANTA — Robert D. James Jr., a 1999 graduate of Georgia State University College of Law, recently was named to The National Law Journal's inaugural Minority 40 Under 40 list.
James was sworn in as DeKalb County District Attorney in November 2010 after being elected to serve the remainder of Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming's four-year term. He oversees the state's second-largest district attorney's office with 55 lawyers and more than 150 employees.
James previously served for four years as the county's elected solicitor general, supervising criminal misdemeanor offenses brought in state court. James also developed the Jobs Not Jail program, which gives first-time offenders a chance to rebuild their lives. He also created Project Perfect Attendance, a comprehensive truancy intervention campaign in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters, DeKalb County School System, DeKalb Juvenile Court and DeKalb Police Department.
In the NLJ story, Mike Scarcella writes:
From his perch at the top in DeKalb, James, 39, has continued to try significant cases. His office, with a budget of $13 million, handles more than 13,000 felony cases a year. "I am a trial lawyer and I love being at trial," James said. "I don't want to be a lawyer if I can't occasionally be in the courtroom. It's in my blood." Certain cases, he said, require his personal attention. In July, James successfully tried a defendant on rape charges. James is now leading the prosecution team in the high-profile Dunwoody day care murder case, in which a man was gunned down outside his son's day care center.
Shortly after graduating law school, James became the first African-American to serve as an assistant district attorney in Rockdale County, Ga. Today, he also serves on the boards of a rape crisis center and a center for child advocacy, and was appointed earlier this year to the state's judicial nominating committee to provide recommendations for state trial and appellate courts.
Director of Communications