Full Name
Chidi James
Job Title
Virginia State Bar
Speaker Bio
Attorney Chidi James is a trial lawyer and a partner with the law firm of Blankingship & Keith, P.C. in Fairfax Virginia. His practice consists mostly of serious personal injury cases including wrongful death, products liability, and inadequate security cases. Mr. James joined Blankingship & Keith as an associate in 2003, after serving as a Judicial Law Clerk to the judges of the Arlington County Circuit Court and completing the Judge Advocate General School Course at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.

Attorney James is President of the Virginia State Bar. He is the first African American man to be elected to that position in the history of Virginia. Mr. James is the former chair of the VSB Diversity Conference, former President of the Northern Virginia Black Attorneys Association, and former board president for Legal Services of Northern Virginia. And previously served on the board of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association for many years.

In addition to serving as VSB President and former Chair of the VSB Diversity Conference, Mr. James has served on many VSB committees including serving as Vice-Chair of the Virginia State Bar’s Standing Committee on Lawyer Discipline and as an elected member of the Virginia State Bar Council representing the 19th Judicial Circuit.

Mr. James serves on the Board of the Fairfax Law Foundation, The Old Dominion Bar Law Foundation, and is a newly inducted fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation. He is a current faculty member of the National Trial Advocacy College, a former faculty member of the Virginia State Bar Henry L. Carrico Professionalism Course, and a former adjunct faculty member at the George Washington School of Law in Washington, D.C. He also served in the National Guard for more than 25 years before retiring in December 2022.

In his private life, Mr. James is a member of Grace Covenant Church, The Mount Pleasant Baptist Church and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He serves on the Board of the Gainesville Basketball Association, the Board of 1st Stage Theatre, and has volunteered as coach for multiple youth sports teams. Mr. James is married to psychologist, Dr. Faith Jackson James of Battlefield Counseling Centers in Manassas, Virginia. The couple has two daughters, Shonari (26 – a local recording artist and graduate MFA student) and Jordan (21- a senior sociology student at High Point University); and one son Gabriel (a 2023 posthumous graduate of North Carolina A&T State University.)
Chidi James