Born in Portland, Oregon, James's family moved to Louisiana in 1990 and later to Mississippi in 1996. He graduated from the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science in Columbus, Mississippi. Later James studied psychology at Mississippi State University before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps in 2004. James was stationed at Marine Corps Base Twentynine Palms, California and later at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. While on active duty, James finished his bachelor's degree while deployed to Afghanistan in 2010. In 2012, James left the Marine Corps to attend Baylor Law School. He graduated in 2015 and joined Fenley & Bate shortly thereafter.
While on active duty, James met and married Rose Coleman, a fellow Marine. Rose was a longtime resident of Salado, Texas before joining the Marine Corps in 2004. Rose left active duty in 2014. James and Rose currently have one young son, Jason.
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