The Jackson Division is pleased to honor Judge James E. Graves for his demonstrated contributions to civic service and youth education. Last year, Judge Graves was confirmed to serve as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He is the second African-American judge on the Fifth Circuit and the first African-American judge from Mississippi.
Judge Graves is deeply committed to working with Mississippi youth and has been recognized by a variety of organizations for his efforts in teaching, motivating, and inspiring young people. He has served as a teaching team member of the Trial Advocacy Workshop at Harvard Law School and has served as an adjunct professor at Millsaps College, Tougaloo College, and Jackson State University.
In addition, Judge Graves has hosted student groups and classes at the Mississippi Supreme Court and the Hinds County Circuit Court to educate students about the legal system. Since 1991, he has coached high school, college, and law school mock trial teams, including the Jackson Murrah High School mock trial team that won the 2001 state championship. A renowned orator, Judge Graves frequently speaks at universities, schools, churches, and conventions.
Committed to mentoring young people about the legal system and process, Judge Graves is a member of the boards of the Mississippi Children’s Museum, the Mississippi Center for Education Innovation, and the Greater Jackson Arts Council.