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Jim Boren has been defending the rights of the accused and the lawyers who defend them since 1976. He appears frequently in the legislature to testify on reform legislation and serves on two of the Law Institute’s Advisory Committees – Evidence and Criminal Procedure. He was an adjunct Professor at LSU, teaching courses on trial practice, wrongful conviction of the innocent, and capital punishment, for nearly 20 years.

Jim is Past President of the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Louisiana ACLU and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Louisiana Public Defender Board. Jim served on the Advisory Board of the Pugh Institute for Justice and the Practitioners Advisory Group for the United States Sentencing Commission. In December 2000 he was awarded the Justice Albert Tate, Jr. Award by the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers for his lifetime achievements, and in 2017 was named Louisiana “Super Lawyer”, an award which makes him proud but embarrassed by the title. In 2023, the NACDL awarded Jim the Champion of Justice Award.

Jim accepts difficult cases, including those involving famous victims or the death penalty. He has defended judges in confidential Judiciary Commission disciplinary proceedings, lawyers, law enforcement officers, bankers, an athletic director, and other numerous public officials. His past clientele includes a mayor of Baton Rouge, a major in law enforcement acquitted of eleven counts of perjury in federal court, a deputy U.S. Marshall accused of obstruction of justice, Howard Rollins – the star of “In the Heat of the Night”, the young daughter of a judge caught shooting a convenience store clerk on videotape – a case the media dubbed “The Natural Born Killers,” one of the defendants of “The Jena 6,” a case that garnered national media exposure, and a member of the “Angola 5” which consisted of a group of inmates who planned an escape from Louisiana State Penitentiary and killed a guard in the process.

Some of his most notable victories include: negotiating a plea and life sentence for his “Angola 5” client; negotiating a plea to a misdemeanor simple battery charge for his “Jena 6” client, whom the State had formally charged with attempted second degree murder; a life sentence from a Lake Charles jury for a client who killed his wife and a policeman who came to investigate a domestic disturbance; a Shreveport jury acquitted his client of killing the husband who had abused her; a Bogalusa jury found self-defense and acquitted a client who killed a man by shooting him in the back three times; and, a Leesville jury rendered a not guilty verdict in 21 minutes on public corruption charges. He also won an acquittal for a man charged with stalking a judge. An Ascension Parish trial against the DA and his first assistant resulted in a negligent homicide verdict for a client charged with second degree murder. As a result, his client was released and able to see his son who he had not touched in 3 years of pretrial incarceration. In Lake Charles his client, a lawyer, was acquitted of forcible rape charges in Lake Charles after a weeklong trial.

Areas of Practice

  • Criminal Defense

Published Works

  • Louisiana Unfair Trade Practice and Consumer Protection Act – An Analysis, 34 Louisiana Law Review 634, 1974
  • The New Code of Professional Responsibility, Around the Bar, February 1987
  • The Body Count in the Government War on Lawyers, Around the Bar, November 1986
  • Constitutional Considerations of Federal and State Testimonial Immunity Legislation, 36 Louisiana Law Review 214, 1976
  • Fear of a Paper Tiger: Enforcing Louisiana’s Procedural and Statutory Rules in the Wake of Harmless Error Analysis, 64 Louisiana Law Review 1, Fall 2003
  • Using Lessons from the Capital Arena for Sentencing Advocacy in All Cases, The Champion, July 2018

Classes / Seminars Taught

  • Lecturer, C.L.E. Programs
  • Adjunct Professor, Paul M. Hebert School of Law, Louisiana State University, 2002 – 2019 Advanced Litigation; Capital Punishment; Wrongful Convictions & Post Conviction Procedure

Honors and Awards

  • Best Lawyers
  • Martindale Hubbell, AV Rating 30 years
  • National Directory of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers

Past Employment Positions

  • East Baton Rouge Parish, Assistant District Attorney, 1975 – 1976
  • Chief, Appellate Section, 1976

Public Service Positions

  • Louisiana Supreme Court Task Force on Advanced Payment of Attorney’s Fees, Member, 1990 – 1991
  • Louisiana Supreme Court, Committee to Study Post Conviction Procedure, 2009 – 2010
  • Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Criminal Justice, Member, 1985 – 1988
  • Governor’s Task Force on Prison Overcrowding, Member, 1986 – 1987
  • Louisiana Law Institute
    • Code of Criminal Procedure Advisory Committee,
      Member, 1987 – Present
    • Evidence Code Advisory Committee,
      Member, 1982 – Present
  • Joint Legislative Committee to Study Certification of Louisiana Evidentiary Rules, Member, Advisory Committee, 1986
  • Louisiana Sentencing Commission, Member, 1987 – 1994
  • Louisiana Supreme Court, Cameras in the Courtroom Task Force, 1993 – 1995
  • Louisiana Indigent Defense Assistance Board, Member, 1998 – 2003
  • Louisiana Public Defender Board, 2008 – 2011
    • Louisiana State Bar Association Representative
    • Capital Certification Advisory Committee, 2012 – Present
  • East Baton Rouge Indigent Defense Board, Board Member, 1998 – 2007
  • Louisiana Legislature, Indigent Defense Task Force, 1996 – 1997


  • Louisiana State University Law Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana - J.D. - 1975

    First in Class, Order of the Coif
    Phi Kappa Phi
    Class of 1950, Scholarship, Spring 1974
    Flory Trial Competition, 1st Place, 1973, 1974
    Law Review: Member, 1974 - 1975

  • Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana - B.A., History - 1971

    Omicron Delta Kappa

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

    Charter Member – 1985 - Present
    President – 1990 - 1991
    Justice Albert Tate, Jr., Lifetime Achievement Award, 2000 Lifetime Achievement Award

  • NORML Legal Committee

    Member Since: 1984 - current

  • Baton Rouge Bar Association

    Chairman, Professional Responsibility Committee (1986 - 1987)

  • Louisiana Capital Defense Project

    Member Since: 1987 - 1989

    Member, Board of Directors

  • American Civil Liberties Union

    Member Since: 1988 - 1992

    Member, Board of Directors

  • Louisiana State Bar Association

    House of Delegates 1992 - Present
    Chariman, Criminal Law Section (1985 - 1986)
    Chairman, Committee on Ethical Standards for Criminal Practice, (1985 - 1988)
    District 5, Board of Governors, (2008 - 2011)

  • Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board

    Member, Disciplinary Board Hearing Committee, (1994 - 1995)
    Chair, Disciplinary Board Hearing Committee, (1995 - 2000)

  • American College of Trial Lawyers

    Member Since: 2009 - current

    Fellow (Inactive)

  • Baton Rouge Criminal Defense Lawyers Association


  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

    Member, 1983 - Present
    Board Member, 1992 - 1995
    Co-Chairman, Indigent Defense Committee, 1990 - 1994; 1998 - 2000
    Co-Chair, Death Penalty Committee, 1994 - 1997
    Champion of Justice Legal Award, 2023

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