Jim holds degrees from St. Bernard's College, Rochester, N.Y. (B.A. 1966); Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. (M.A. Theology, 1972); and University of Tennessee (J.D. 1978).
He joined the firm of Neal & Craven in Jamestown in 1978 after graduation from law school.
In addition to Tennessee, he is admitted to the Middle District Tennessee Federal Court and the U.S. Supreme Court and has an AV rating with Martindale Hubbell.
He has served in the House of Delegates of the Tennessee Bar Association since 2005 and served as Chairman of the General Solo and Small Firm Practitioners Section.
Before beginning law school he was employed as an outreach social worker in Morgan, Scott and Roane Counties by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation. In the past He helped in starting an ecumenical ministry in Morgan and Scott Counties, served on the Proposal Review Committee for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the Ecumenical Council of the Diocese of Knoxville, Board of Directors of Hilltoppers, Inc. in Crossville, was President of the Fentress County Chamber of Commerce Board, Chairman of the Jamestown Regional Medical Center Advisory Board, and Chaplain's Advisory Committee at Signature Health Care in Jamestown . He took public positions against forming a Charter Government and in support of the Supreme Court Justices in 2014.
Presently in Jamestown he helped organize and continues to serve as a Board member of Handfuls of the Harvest Mission, is a member and past president of the Rotary Club, and is an active lay leader in St. Christopher Catholic Church.
Firm members took a significant part in the dedication of the Fentress County Justice Center in 2015 and are active members and supporters of charitable and public service organizations. Without fanfare, they share responsibility with other local bar members in providing legal help to people who are in need and have limited resources.
Married to Denise Craven, they have two children, Michael, an electrical engineer, Carrie, a research biologist, and granddaughter Amelia.