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James W. Saffell

Divorce and separation Attorney at Traverse City, MI

5.0   7 reviews

also known as Jim Saffell

Free consultation
Free consultation
  • State Years
    Michigan - MI 21 years
    Colorado - CO 37 years
  • Licensed for 21 years
    State MI
    Acquired 2002
    Active in Good Standing No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 37 years
    State CO
    Acquired 1986
    Inactive No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About James

Learn James’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Divorce and separation
    James W. Saffell has 38 years experience handling Divorce and Family Law matters– from an uncontested divorce to trials involving complex property division and disputed child custody, child support and alimony issues.

  2. Child custody
    Disputes can be heartbreaking. Let Attorney Saffell use his decades of experience to facilitate this process to make it as simple as possible for you. Stop worrying, call now at 231.256.1052 for a free case evaluation.

  3. Family
    James W. Saffell is a Divorce and Family Lawyer and Mediator who handles ALL kinds of legal matters related to couples, families, parents – from an amicable, uncontested divorce to a litigious divorce involving complex marital estates and more.


A graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, James Saffell earned his law degree at the University of Denver College of Law in 1986. Mr. Saffell earned membership to the University of Denver Law Review and the National Moot Court Team for the New York Bar Association National Moot Court Competition, where he was awarded the distinction of *2nd Best Speaker* at the Western Regional Competition. Mr. Saffell also worked at the United States Department of Interior, Denver, Colorado, where he was responsible for preparation of the Department of Interior Position Paper on the Equal Access to Justice Act.

After practicing law as a trial attorney at the law firm of Nelson & Harding, Denver, Colorado from 1986 to 1989, he began a private practice in Boulder, Colorado specializing in civil and criminal litigation, family and domestic matters, business and personal injury matters. Mr. Saffell handles cases throughout Michigan and is licensed to practice in the states of Michigan and Colorado.

Mr. Saffell was born and raised in Birmingham, Michigan. After residing in Boulder, Colorado for about 30 years, he and his wife moved their family to Leelanau County where Mr. Saffell enjoyed summers since childhood.

James Saffell is licensed to practice law in Michigan and Colorado courts.

Trained and Certified Civil Mediator
Certified by the Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan

Member of:
Michigan Association for Justice
State Bar of Michigan
Grand Traverse-Leelanau-Antrim Bar Association (President 2013 – 14)

Conflict Resolution Services of Traverse City (Board Member; President)
Divorce Connections
Suttons Bay Area Chamber of Commerce
Leelanau Peninsula Chamber of Commerce

Volunteer Activities:
Leland Township Recreation Commission * Chairperson
Leelanau Children’s Center * Board Member
Womens Resource Center
Legal Services of Northern Michigan

Justice for Our Neighbors Citizenship Clinic
Third Level Crisis Intervention Center

Pro Bono:
James Saffell and his staff dedicate numerous hours each year to pro bono and reduced fee work.

“I believe that community service and pro bono work are integral parts of the practice of law
and I make it a priority to ensure that indigents have access to justice.”

Photos and videos



James W. Saffell


5.0 / 5.0
  7 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Posted by David | January 10, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best results with care and efficiency
Jim and Leslie did and absolutely incredible job for me and my family. With the upmost care and efficiency we were able to receive the absolute best results in our case. Could not have done it without them.
Posted by Brian | November 29, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent attorney
Jim and Leslie were extremely professional in settling my divorce case. They communicated thoroughly during the process and were prepared for every step. Jim negotiated with integrity and fairness and I am very satisfied with my result. Thank you Jim and Leslie
Posted by anonymous | April 8, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Prompt, timely, and understanding. Told it like it was and didnt make promises he couldnt keep. Highly recommend him
Posted by Mickey | April 6, 2019
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Highly recommend
Jim Saffell helped me not only in a timely manner of reaching out, but he was so generous with his time and his advice was excellent. My boyfriend recommended him and I do, too! Thanks Jim!
Posted by Stacy | October 24, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Professional Image of Law
My case was represented very excellent in all stages of court. Mr. Saffell provided above standard legal advice in the court of law with questions and concerns answered in a timely manner.
Posted by Jeffery | November 16, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Simply the best!
James Saffell is an amazing and very talented attorney, He is dedicated to your needs and very personable. My case that Mr.Saffell worked on was time sensitive and the first of its kind in that area. He left no stone unturned! he worked diligently to produce results. I would recommend James W Saffell for your legal needs.
Posted by Sean Mulliken | November 15, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
I Would Highly Recommend!
I had a excellent experience with James Saffell and his team. He answered all of my questions thoroughly and quickly. He put my mind at ease about my entire situation got it resolved as quickly as possible.
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  • Free Consultation 30 minutes
  • Hourly Rates $ 275-275 per hour
  • Contingency 25%-40%
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 8.6 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Attorney
  • James W. Saffell
  • 1989 - Present
  • Attorney
  • Bode & Grenier, LLP
  • 2012 - 2013
  • Attorney
  • Nelson & Harding
  • 1986 - 1989


  • University of Denver Sturm College of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1986
  • University of Colorado - Boulder
  • BS - Bachelor of Science
  • 1982

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Change of Domicile/residence Move with children out of state
  • Client succeeded in moving after father stipulated to the move on the eve of trial.
  • Driver license appeal
  • Case dismissed


  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Member
  • 2002 - Present
  • Third Level Crisis Center
  • Volunteer Attorney
  • 2002 - Present
  • Grand Traverse-Leelanau-Antrim Bar Association
  • President
  • 2013 - 2014
  • Conflict Resolution Services of Traverse City
  • Board President
  • 2012 - 2015
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1986 - 2008
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Notable
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2024
  • Pro Bono Award
  • Conflict Resolution Services of Traverse City
  • 2009

Speaking Engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (5)
Given (4)
Endorse James
Litigation Attorney | Feb 24
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Jim Saffell is a smart, zealous advocate for his clients. He knows what can be accomplished in the courtroom, as well as what cannot, and uses that knowledge, and his skills, effectively for those he represents."
Family Attorney | Jun 24
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Jim is helpful to his clients and understands the emotions accompanying family law matters. He looks into the issues and is a good advocate for his clients. He has been an effective mediator in some recent cases of mine and I will continue to select him as mediator in the future. I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | May 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Jim Saffell is an outstanding family law attorney. He treats everyone, including clients, court personnel, staff, and the public, with dignity and respect. His service has included being President of the Grand Traverse-Leelanau-Antrim Bar Association and Chair of the Conflict Resolution Services Board of Directors."
Family Attorney | Apr 17
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer."
General practice Attorney | Sep 11
Relationship: Friend
"I endorse this lawyer."
Divorce and separation
Child custody
Traverse City Divorce and separation Lawyer James W. Saffell
James W. Saffell
Divorce and separation Attorney
Traverse City, MI
Licensed for 37 years
Free Consultation