James L. Banks, Jr., J.D. General Counsel

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​James L. "Jim" Banks serves as SHRM's General Counsel, managing SHRM's legal functions, overseeing the work of outside counsel and serving as key lawyer and legal advisor on major business transactions. 

Previously, Mr. Banks served as City Attorney to the City of Alexandria, Va., representing and advising the mayor, city council, city manager and city departments on a variety of legal matters. He was previously a partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP and McGuireWoods LLP, where he focused on employment litigation. 

Mr. Banks began his legal career in Richmond, Va., and practiced law in the private and public sectors, including serving as both prosecutor and judge. He has a broad background in legal ethics and spent over 10 years in the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary system, ultimately serving as Chair of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board. He was an instructor for the Virginia State Bar Professionalism Course and has taught frequently on topics of ethics and professionalism.  He is also an adjunct professor at Virginia Tech in the Master of Public Administration program.

He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and Virginia Army National Guard and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia, a master's degree in Public Policy from Walden University, and a bachelor's degree from Gettysburg College. 


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