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About me

I am a graduate of the University of Michigan law school, licensed as attorney since 1982.  I have extensive experience in both state and federal courts.  It appears that I have more published opinions at the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals than any other Michigan attorney who does not work for the government.  I have gotten many people out of prison.  I have argued at the US Supreme Court.  I am well known in the Michigan prison system for my successes, and also for the seminars I give occasionally to prisoners informing them about the court system.  When I was 8 and 9 years old my family lived in Caracas, Venezuela, so my Spanish is fairly good.  For those considering hiring me, I have samples of my appeal briefs and rulings, and transcripts showing my performance in trial court criminal defense.  I am married, live in Detroit suburbs. 


Languages spoken: Spanish, English

Photos and videos

748618 1327521961

Practice areas


  1. Appeals: 60%
    34 years
  2. Criminal Defense: 25%
    34 years
  3. Federal Crime: 5%
    34 years
  4. Constitutional: 5%
    34 years
  5. Lawsuits & Disputes: 5%
    34 years



Fixed (sometimes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

7 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Stuart G. Friedman

    I endorse this lawyer. I've known Jim for over 25 years and think he is a brilliant appellate attorney. We compete for the same market so I am probably shooting myself in the foot by endorsing him, but I think is a great lawyer and a good guy.


    Stuart Friedman Appeals Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

  • Edward Jacob Sternisha

    I endorse Attorney Lawrence. His knowledge of the law and his years of experience are very evident in the answers to the questions posed on Avvo. I would not hesitate to refer anyone to him for legal services. I am proud to call him a Michigan Colleague.


    Edward Sternisha DUI and DWI Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

James Sterling Lawrence, Attorney

235 S. Gratiot Avenue
Mt. Clemens, MI, 48035


MIActive And In Good Standing198208/04/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Certificate of Merit - highest grade, f ctsUniversity of Michigan Law School1980
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
AttorneyJames Sterling Lawrence, Attorney1982 - Present
Law Clerk, AttorneySheldon Halpern, Attorney1981 - 1986
Law clerkState Appellate Defender Office1979 - 1981
Association namePosition nameDuration
State Bar of MichiganmemberN/A
Darrow Criminal Defense ForummemberN/A
Michigan Habeas Corpus Attorney ListservememberN/A
Criminal Defense Section, SBMmemberN/A
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
People v TerryNot guilty verdict by jury.
People v PunterCriminal charge dismissed after def's statement excluded.
Baum v WolfenbargerParole revocation reversed, client released from prison.
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of MichiganLawJD - Juris Doctor1980
Michigan State UniversityHistoryOther - Bachelors1972
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
SeminarLegal Ethics2014
Speak at prisonsCriminal appeals and habeas corpusN/A