James J. Chandler (JD ’00) is the Deputy Chief of the General Law Bureau at the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. James supervises seven different units. He likes to maintain an active caseload and his other responsibilities include: assigning cases; assisting attorneys with procedural and trial strategy; and providing legal direction for the different units. James is a former member of the Loyola Alumni Board of Governors and remains actively involved with the School of Law.
Hometown: Born in Seoul, South Korea and grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Currently lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Undergraduate Institution: Florida State University (undergraduate degree in Political Science).
Current Employer: Illinois Attorney General’s Office.
Tell us about your time at Loyola.
Since I was in the 7th grade, I knew that I wanted to be in a courtroom and in front of a jury.
I also knew that I always wanted to come to Chicago and start a career and a life in the city. So I hit a grand slam with Loyola. People, a lot smarter than me, had informed me that Loyola would be the best place to prepare me for trial work – and were they right! Being involved with the Thomas Tang Moot Court Team and Advocacy Program in general reassured that the decision was the right one.
How did Loyola prepare you for your law career?
While nothing can 100% prepare you for a career in the legal profession, Loyola equipped me with the skills and practical experience to get off to a really good start. There’s only so much that you can do to prepare students for the real-world experience, which is why the alumni network is so important. I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the generosity of alumni who come back to volunteer for the students.
How are you currently involved in Loyola?
Since the Thomas Tang team created such an impact while I was attending law school, I ended up coaching students on the team for thirteen years after I graduated. When you spend six days a week with a group of students, you get to know them pretty well and a lot of them have gone onto do great things. I’ve also been a member of the Loyola Alumni Board of Governors for the last seven years and it seemed like a great way to give back to the Loyola community that’s done so much for me. Now I’m looking to get involved in the law school in new ways, which is why I’m going to begin teaching a Deposition Advocacy Workshop in the fall.
What would be one piece of advice for young lawyers?
Don’t ever compromise your credibility: say what you mean and mean what you say.