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James Robert Schmillen

Family Attorney at Scottsdale, AZ

4.6   22 reviews
  • Licensed for 21 years
    State AZ
    Acquired 2001
    Active No misconduct found

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

About James

Learn James’s areas of practice.

JAMES R. SCHMILLEN, an Arizona native, obtained his Bachelor of Science degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Arizona in 1998, with a double major in Accounting and Finance.  While at the University of Arizona, Jim was named to the Dean’s List, was a member of the University of Arizona Honors Program, and served as a Teaching Assistant for multiple tax law courses.  He received his J.D. in 2001 from the Arizona State University College of Law, graduating cum laude.  During law school, Jim was a Pedrick Scholar, recipient of the CALI Award for Academic Excellence, and earned Honors in Legal Method and Writing.  Jim was also a Legal Method and Writing Teaching Assistant and a member of the Arizona State Law Journal.  Jim was honored with the Arizona State University College of Law Pro Bono Distinction for his service as President of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program, assisting in the preparation of hundreds of tax returns for low income taxpayers. 

Jim began practicing law at a complex commercial litigation law firm in 1998.   After three years in private practice, Jim took a position as in-house counsel and executive for a private, family owned group of companies that employed up to 2,200 individuals and provided construction related products and services throughout Arizona and Nevada.  While serving in this position, Jim held a leadership role as well as having responsibility for all aspects of corporate representation.  Jim was able to practice family law on a pro bono basis, helping individuals that could not afford representation.  After serving in this role for nearly seven years, Jim had the opportunity to pursue his dream of opening his own law firm in 2011.  Jim primarily focuses his practice on family law and civil litigation.  Jim is a regular volunteer with Family Legal Assistance Program (FLAP) and was awarded Attorney of the Month for February 2015 through the Volunteer Lawyers Program and designated as a 2015 Top Pro Bono Attorney in Arizona by the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education. Jim was elected to the Board of Directors for the Maricopa County Bar Association Family Law Section in 2016.   

Aside from his professional endeavors, Jim enjoys being active and spends his free time doing anything that involves being outdoors – including golfing, scuba diving, snow skiing/snowboarding, hiking, trail riding, boating, camping, fishing and travelling.   

Contact James

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Schmillen Law Firm PLLC
8140 E Cactus Rd Ste 720 B
Scottsdale, AZ, 85260-5265


4.6 / 5.0
  22 customer reviews
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Posted by Marta | August 16, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best Decision Ever!
I can't say enough great things about Jim. I would highly recommend him to anyone that is dealing with a divorce. I couldn't have done it without him. Thank you so much :)
Posted by Erin | November 18, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A solid law firm
I came to Schmillen Law Firm looking for legal advice and a lawyer to help me get through a very complicated situation. I had never been in the position I found myself in, and it was very scary. When I met with Jim Schmillen for a consultation, he truly listened to what I was looking for in a lawyer. He didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear on that first visit. But, he told me what I NEEDED to hear from a professional and legal perspective. He was very honest and upfront in his assessment and opinion of my situation. I felt I was getting a very clear vision of what direction he would go in if I hired him to represent me. He exceeded my expectations in every aspect of our legal journey together. He was confident, experienced, assertive, smart, and accessible. He has an amazing team and they work so fluidly together. I always felt like I was their priority client and they made sure I was informed of every decision that was made. He is dependable, trustworthy, hardworking, and loyal to his clients. Schmillen Law Firm is definitely a solid choice when it comes to legal counsel in Arizona. You will not be disappointed in the experience you have with them.
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Posted by Karla | January 27, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A BIG Thank You!!
“During a very unpredictable and challenging time in my life, Jim provided outstanding dedication, legal knowledge and expertise when taking on my case. He calmed my fears and took the stress of my legal situation off my shoulders. His understanding of what I was up against was extremely comforting. I greatly appreciate Jim and his paralegal Rachel. Their hard work, integrity and willingness to go the extra mile truly paid off for me. I would not hesitate to recommend Jim to anyone looking for an amazing family law attorney. “ - Karla
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Posted by Sherry | January 17, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly recommended
James provides outstanding representation with realistic expectation and did not make a promise he could not keep. His office responded immediately with any concerns I had and were completely thorough with their response and review!
Posted by Chris | January 5, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Smart and Diligent
Jim is the kind of attorney that gets your issue resolved quickly and provides a great result. He also handled my daughter's divorce and I believe because of his accounting and finance background, he got her a better result than anyone else would have!
Posted by Jennifer | August 27, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Jim is wonderful
Jim (James) handled my divorce and custody situation for me recently. Him and his team were compassionate, caring, loyal and hard working with my case. I was an emotional disaster when I came into the firm in the beginning due to being a stay at home mom for 11 years and a ex that was out to destroy me. Jim stood up for me every turn of the way. In the end I received more than my expectations in both child custody and spousal support. My ex was known to bully me and I knew Jim would stand up for me in court and through e-mails to him. He really made a traumatic event in my life as easy as possible. I'd recommend him to anyone needing an attorney who will fight for you, cares about his clients and puts heart into what he does.
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Posted by anonymous | August 29, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Family Court
Attorney Schmillen was outstanding in his representation. From the beginning he was thorough in his work and dedicated to my cause! We won our case - each part of it! I would definitely recommend him to anyone!
Posted by Susan | June 18, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Absolutely the Best
Jim Schmillen took over my divorce proceedings after another Central Avenue lawyer had escalated my case well beyond my wishes, angered the Judge and shut down communications with the opposing side. Within days of hiring him he had re-evaluated my issues, opened communications, and saved me a costly and unnecessary deposition. He was then able to quickly prepare for our Temporary Orders hearing presenting a respectful and united front to the Judge. It made all the difference! Our experience would go on to include court ordered mediation and an eventual trial. Mr. Schmillen's council proved invaluable. He was able to champion the causes I found most important to me, for the life I wanted going forward, and for the needs of my children. His accounting background assisted me in realistically planning for my present situation and for building a strategy to secure my future needs. He and his staff were always helpful and accessible for questions or guidance and I always felt my case was their top priority. If you ever need to go to trial, you will want Jim Schmillen with you. He comes well prepared with a brilliant mind and demeanor. That will make all the difference! My future quality of life and for my children largely depended on the hour and a half we were given before the Judge at trial. He made all the difference! If that were not enough, he is fair with his fees at a time when you most need it. If you are thinking of divorce, unhappy with your present attorney, not being heard, being over billed, or need advice about a child custody issue I highly recommend a consultation with Jim Schmillen. He is absolutely the best advocate you will find!
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Posted by Ashley | May 26, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Exceptional Attorney
I was somewhat new to the area and had a feeling that I would soon be needing legal services. My close friends recommended Jim and I met with him for a consultation. No less than a week after the consult, I was served with custody papers from my exhusband. I contacted Jim and felt reassured that I was in good hands. Jim has now been my legal counsel for a year and I have been thankful throughout this time to have him and his office staff on my team. They are always there for my questions no matter how big or small. I have also had a tremendous about of problems with my exhusband throughout this custody battle and Jim has handled it with great expertise and a calm demeanor. Exactly what I have needed during such a stressful time.
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Posted by Kelsi | May 25, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Exceeded My Expectations
Jim is technically my third lawyer in my case which goes to show how long and dynamic my case has been. A friend referred me to his lawyer, who heard my case and actually said, "You want Jim Schmillen." To have a lawyer recommend another says a lot, and Jim has actually exceeded the expectations I had. I hired Jim for hearing last minute; the case was a few weeks out. He advised me to proceed in manners that were refreshing, on point, and also very relaxing for my nerves. He and his office staff are always extremely quick to respond, kind, and professional; Jim was fully prepared in court even with my lengthy case and short notice. Jim continues to advise me on exactly how to proceed and makes me feel confident in my case with my relentless ex. I trust him because he has shown me he performs and even covers extra bases just in case of anything recurring if you have an ex like mine. It is nice to finally feel confident in a battle that was emotionally and mentally exhausting prior to hiring Jim. I have since referred friends who also love his expertise, efficiency, and professionalism.
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Posted by Jeremy | February 2, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Response to Petition
James was recommended to me by a friend to defend myself from a frivolous petition filed by my ex, and I could not have been happier with James. He put together an excellent argument against the petition, backing every point with several citations of both statute and case law. He understood that my funds available for defense were limited, and was very respectful of our time concerning meetings and hearing preparations, keeping our meetings punctual but never rushed. My only regret is that I didn't know James during my initial divorce proceedings. If you need a family lawyer, you can't do better than James.
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Posted by Rita | January 9, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
This Attorney is amazing!!
I contacted Jim for a consultation less than 2 weeks before my trial date for my divorce. I was desperate to find a good attorney to take my case and he had great ratings on Avvo. Even though I knew that the chances of him taking my case on such short notice were slim to none, I took the chance anyway and went to see him. I can honestly say that it was one of the best decisions I've ever made for my family. Jim is a fantastic attorney who nows his practice well and has a passion for his job. He took my case with very little time to prepare because he knew that I needed him and he could see the I was being taken advantage of by the other parties and he knew he could help me. For that I am forever grateful. He always made me feel like I was his only client even though I know that he had many others at the same time. His assistant Rachel is amazing as well, she has the best personally and knows exactly how to talk to people. She is incredibly intelligent and on top of things. She is an extreme pleasure to deal with. I can not say enough wonderful things about my experience with dealing with Jim and I would definitely recommend him to anyone who needs an attorney.
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Posted by Dan | November 23, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent Attorney
I hired Jim for my family law case. It had been going on for quite some time and finally decided I need help through the process. During the whole time Jim was absolutely fantastic. He helped me through the whole thing and never made me feel forced into anything. My situation was a bit different but that didn't seem to faze him. He has a great work drive and just great drive for his clients. He was able to get my story across in the best way possible. He was there whenever I needed him. Rachel, family case manager, is very helpful as well. Overall Jim and his practice is a great one. I would highly recommend him to anybody!!
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Posted by anonymous | November 2, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Honest, realistic, very knowledgeable.
Jim represented me in a labor matter against a very large, intimidating and well known employer. He succeeded where others would not even hear of my case. He changed my view of the legal profession! A lawyer you can trust. He will let you know what your chances are. Clearly, he is not after making a quick buck. He will tell you when it is not something realistic. In my case, it was very realistic, I got a great settlement, much more than I expected. I can only say good things about him, and I am a physician!
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Posted by Elizabeth | October 14, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Top Notch!! Best Attorney Ever!!
James Schmillen is by far the best attorney in Arizona. If you need an excellent attorney, one that is thorough and knows the law, you need James. James listens to you and understands your situation. He uses his expertise and experience to give you the best legal advice and representation possible. Rachel, his Case Manager, is knowledgeable, courteous, understanding and she is truly an asset to the firm. In fact, this is very important, when your life and future is at stake. They make a wonderful team, and I am confident that all matters will be handled with accuracy and urgency, with the utmost attention to what is best for me. James is the best that money can buy, and yet he has excellent rates. You definitely get your money's worth, and more. You can't afford not to use him for all your legal needs. When I came to James, I was in a terrible time crunch, however, he, with his infinite wisdom, was able to prepare my case, thoroughly and on time. I have never heard of any attorney being able, or willing to take on a divorce case trial, with such short notice. If it can be done, James is one that can. I will continue to keep James as my attorney for all my legal needs, as I know that I can trust him, and he has the most outstanding knowledge of the law. He's the best!!! Thank You James!!!
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Posted by Christie | July 29, 2015
Highly Satisfied
I hired Jim for a business matter back in 2011. Like in any legal situation nerves run high, Jim made me feel comfortable and confident with my case. He definitely went the extra mile to make sure we were prepared for court. Any questions I had were answered and calls/ emails were returned promptly. I honestly have no complaints. Jim made a scary situation pleasant. I still bug him with legal questions (and he does answer)! I will continue to recommend Jim to almost anyone, he is the BEST!
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Posted by anonymous | July 27, 2015
Compassionate & Intelligent
James is a remarkably intelligent and trustworthy professional of the highest caliber! He was extraordinarily passionate about helping me with my case. His extensive knowledge of the law and sound legal advice allowed me to formulate a successful plan to navigate this difficult and emotionally trying time. He was transparent in his goals and worked to maintain a direct path to success while simultaneously achieving an atmosphere free from added conflict. I was greeted with compassion and patience throughout the whole process. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for fast and painless results.
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Posted by Elizabeth | July 27, 2015
Review for James Schmillen
I originally hired James to represent me in my divorce in 2005. There were many complicated issues involved and the safety of my family and their future was at risk. I needed an attorney that would handle matters swiftly and effectively. James did that and so much more. His knowledge of the law and diligence to my case gave me the best possible outcome in a very difficult situation. He always got back to me quickly on any questions I had during and after the case. He explained everything clearly and was extremely patient during the times I was stressed. His calm but firm nature also came across in the court room and with interactions I saw between him, the judge and other attorneys. He was respectful in the courtroom, but at the same time, would push the issues and points that were most important to me and in the best interest of my young children. I was so pleased with James that I hired him to help with a few years later with some post divorce decree issues. Again, James handled my case very well and I couldn't have been happier with the outcome. I was impressed that he remembered details about my case from 2005 that I didn't even remember. James was so proficient that he would notice errors my ex husband's attorney had made on different filings and documents. Thankfully, because this carelessness could have lengthened the time frame of this case and ultimately delayed my child support payments. It was reassuring to me to have such a knowledgeable and ethical attorney representing my side. I would not hesitate to use James again in any legal matter I may have. I would also highly recommend him to anyone looking to hire a true professional in this field.
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Posted by DAN | July 17, 2015
You can skip the rest, cause Jim's the best!
In February 2013 I unexpectedly found myself in need of a family law attorney. Not knowing where to turn I was very fortunately referred to Jim Schmillen by a work acquaintance. Over the past two and a half years I have found him to be a reliable and informed advocate for my best interests. His advice is always solid and in one instance he was even able to convince the Judge that the other side was being unreasonable to the extent that they were held responsible for his fees instead of me . While enduring divorce proceedings can be difficult and stressful to say the least, it does help to feel like you have a better attorney than your opponent does. Throughout the process Jim's performance made me feel that way many times and I would absolutely recommend him to anyone in need of a family law attorney without hesitation. His experience and professionalism were a great asset to me during a very trying time.
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Posted by Anastasia | July 10, 2015
Greatest Lawyer EVER!!
I hired Mr. Schmillen in August 2012 to handle what I thought was an easy divorce. However, my husband made it extremely difficult. I was very fortunate to have Jim as my attorney because he wouldn't allow my husband to run up my fees or take advantage of me. Thanks to his brilliance and expert knowledge concerning businesses, I received settlement monies that I did not know existed. My spousal maintenance that he negotiated is a godsend and more than twice what my husband told me he would give me, before I hired Jim. Jim found any error that the other side made financially and otherwise and would not let them take advantage. He returns phone calls very quickly and always keeps me informed. Because of him, I was able to keep all of my daughters horses, and she was able to keep competing! I have had to rehire him recently to deal with other post-decree issues and he made sure that I am always very well taken care of, even winning attorney's fees for me!! I recommended him to a friend with a business dispute and he resolved an ongoing issue with one extremely well written letter and one phone call. I highly recommend him for ANY legal matter you may have. He is extremely fair with his fees!!!!
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  • Retainer Always
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Owner/Attorney
  • Schmillen Law Firm/Mouser & Schmillen
  • 2011 - Present
  • Adjunct Professor
  • Arizona Summit Law School
  • 2015 - 2015
  • General Counsel
  • Younger Brothers Companies
  • 2004 - 2011
  • Associate
  • Cohen Kennedy Dowd & Quigley
  • 2001 - 2004
View all work experience


  • Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2001
  • University of Arizona
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Adminstration,
  • 1998


  • MCBA Family Law Section
  • Board Member
  • 2016 - Present
  • Maricopa County Bar Association
  • 2011 - Present
  • State Bar of Arizona
  • 2001 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • AV Preeminnent Rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell®
  • 2020
  • Attorney of the Month Award
  • Volunteer Lawyers Program of Arizona
  • 2015
  • Top Pro Bono Attorneys In Arizona
  • Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education
  • 2015

Speaking Engagements

  • Guest Speaker for Family Law Class
  • Ethics in Family Law
  • 2015

Attorney endorsements

Received (9)
Given (10)
Endorse James
Family Attorney | Sep 03
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"James is an absolute professional. He is very knowledgeable and advocates well for his clients. James is responsive and and very personable. I look forward to handling cases with him in the future."
Family Attorney | Feb 09
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Schmillen is a solid litigation attorney with years of experience and a talent for persuasive argument. I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Feb 02
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I had the pleasure of working alongside James on a complex family matter. It is evident to me that James is very passionate about his clients and strives to only provide exceptional service, which includes, from my observation, compassionate, personable and clear communication with his clients and opposing parties, detailed and thorough legal reasoning and a focused skilled approach with his legal strategy - all of which aids a client tremendously if not becomes primarily responsible for the client's success. I highly recommend James as a family lawyer and whenever I have a conflict, he's one of the very first I consider to refer a case to."
Family Attorney | Mar 02
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Jim is an excellent advocate for his clients. He's aggressive and an incredible writer."
Litigation Attorney | Jul 25
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have known Jim for over 15 years and have had the pleasure to work with him on many occasions. Jim is smart, a talented advocate, proactive, practical, hard-working and truly cares about his clients. I highly endorse Jim for any litigation matter."
Family Attorney | Jul 22
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Mr. Schmillen is an excellent attorney that appears to have a strong appreciation for his client's needs, but able to remain reasonable and problem focused. I strongly endorse Mr. Schmillen as a family law attorney. Additionally, I have found Mr. Schmillen to be a good person that maintains a high ethical standard."
Family Attorney | Jul 20
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Jim and I met as opposing counsel on a highly contentious divorce case. I found Jim to not only be a great advocate for his client, but also knowledgeable and skilled in financial analysis. I would highly recommend him to any potential client, and frequently send him referrals when I cannot assist a client."
Family Attorney | Jul 19
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. I have known Jim for several years, both as a friend and as opposing counsel. He is compassionate and hard working, and consistently goes above and beyond for his clients. He is well respected by his peers and by the bench, which is a rare things in the legal field."
Family Attorney | Jul 17
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I have found Jim to be the consummate professional, incredibly trustworthy, and very knowledgeable in the areas of civil and family law. Jim is an experienced advocate who works hard to achieve resolution while never compromising his client's interests. I recommend Jim without hesitation."
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Scottsdale Family Lawyer James Robert Schmillen
James Robert Schmillen
Family Attorney
Scottsdale, AZ
Licensed for 21 years