James Schmidt is an associate attorney concentrating in employment, commercial, and appellate litigation. He advocates for his clients in all stages of litigation, from before an action is filed through enforcing a judgment. Although he knows how to resolve and settle a case when it is advantageous to his client’s position, his skill and experience give him the confidence to take a case to trial or argue an appeal as well.
James joined Meyer Capel with a long history of litigation experience. Before coming to Illinois for law school, James was a paralegal at a legal aid office for over seven years, assisting the attorneys in advocating for their clients in a wide range of complex matters in state and federal courts. During school, James worked for Meyer Capel as a seasonal associate and, immediately after graduating, secured a prestigious clerkship with the Honorable Rita B. Garman of the Illinois Supreme Court. He returned to join Meyer Capel’s litigation team in 2020.
James is licensed to practice in Illinois, Michigan, and the Central District of Illinois Federal Court. He is a member of the Illinois State and Champaign County Bar Associations as well as the State Bar of Michigan.
Born and raised in West Michigan, James graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2009 earning a Bachelor of Arts with a major in legal studies and minor in Spanish. At Grand Valley, he was on the Dean’s List and was awarded the Mullendore Legal Studies and Criminal Justice Scholarship. James went on to earn his Master of Professional Studies degree from George Washington University in 2012 and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Illinois College of Law in 2018. While in law school, James was a Harno Scholar, made the Dean’s List, and excelled in his writing and advocacy classes. He was a teaching and research assistant and was nominated for the Paul Lisnek Award for Excellence and Ethics in Trial Advocacy.
James and his wife reside in Champaign with their seven children. James volunteers as a baseball, soccer, and boxing coach, a mentor, and a high school speaker. He is also a lector at his church. A former amateur boxer, James keeps in shape with boxing and CrossFit workouts and enjoys riding his bike, golfing, and pranking his wife and children.