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James Oberholtzer

About me

Background:  I was raised in Tucson, Arizona and Whittier, California.   I opened our Chicago, Illinois office in 1995 and the Portland, Oregon office in 2001.  Our family is 13th generation members of the Society of Friends (people known as "Quakers").  While attending Whittier High School, I was an Eagle Scout, an AFS exchange student to Malaysia and the section head for percussion for the WHS Marching Band (we marched in the 1968 Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington, DC for Richard Nixon).


I enjoy playing music (piano, guitar and percussion), sailing, soccer (including futsol), T'ai Chi Chuan, hiking (I hiked up the South Sister, Oregon summit recently), skiing, snorkeling, classic languages (mostly Latin), databases (particularly Filemaker), web page design and wikis.


I was the president of the Arbor Parent Teacher organization for the Arbor School in Tualatin, Oregon that all three of my children attended.


Languages spoken: French

Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Estate Planning: 25%
    36 years, 500 cases
  2. Real Estate: 20%
    36 years, 300 cases
  3. Tax: 20%
    36 years, 300 cases
  4. Business: 20%
    36 years, 600 cases
  5. Trusts: 15%
    36 years, 500 cases



Hourly ($100-350/hour)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

7 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Michael Timothy Dwan

    I endorse this lawyer. Mr. Oberholtzer is widely considered to be one of the best Estate Planning attorneys practicing today.


    Michael Dwan Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Christian K. Lassen II

    Top-notch attorney. Highly respected in the legal community.


    Christian Lassen Wrongful death Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

1500 SW First Avenue
Suite 800
Portland, OR, 97201

James Oberholtzer, Chartered

211 West Wacker Drive
Suite 1200
Chicago, IL, 60606



ILActive And Authorized To Practice Law198005/11/2016
VAAuthorized to practice law197903/31/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
AV RatedMartindale-Hubbell2012
AV RatedMartindale-Hubbell2011
AV RatedMartindale-Hubbell1995
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerRohlfing & Oberholtzer2000 - Present
PresidentJames Oberholtzer, Chtd.1995 - Present
Income PartnerCowan & Minetz1986 - 1995
General CounselJewish Family & Community Service of Metro Chicago1980 - 1985
Association namePosition nameDuration
Washington State Bar AssociationMember2008 - Present
Illinois State Bar AssociationMember1980 - Present
Oregon State BarDelegate2007 - 2012
Chicago Hull House Social Service AgencyHousing Committee member1986 - 1989
Chicago Bar AssociationChair and founder of co-ed soccer league1984 - 1995
American Immigration Lawyers Associationmember refuge committee1982 - 1995
Chicago Bar AssociationChair of Child Abuse & Neglect Committee1981 - 1982
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
In re: Estate of Helen SteeleSuccessful administration
In re: Estate of HafemanSuccessful administration
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Oregon State Bar Taxation Section NewsletterS Corporation Inadvertent Terminations2011
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
DePaul University College of LawTaxLL.M - Master of Laws1985
Washington and Lee University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1979
Earlham CollegeEconomicsA.B.1975
California State Polytechnic University, PomonaMathematicsN/A1973
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
The Complete Trust CourseRevocable and Irrevocable Trusts2013
LawReviewCLE SeminarEstate Planning2013
LawReview CLE SeminarEstate Planning2012
Seminar Arbor School APTFamily Estate Planning2008
Estate Planning SeminarEstate Planning for Singles2003
Seminar for Metropolitan Family ServiceEstate Planning for Social Workers2002
Committe on Mental Health Chicago Bar AssociationConfidentiality of Mental Health Records1985
National ConferenceConfidentiality of Mental Health Records1984
Annual MeetingLegal Liability of Clinical Social Workers1983