James D. Stensel


Practice Emphasis

James is an attorney with the Family Law Practice Group. His career spans more than two decades, with several years working alongside many of Seattle’s most notable and respected family law attorneys. Honed by his experiences, James’s strategy in each case is to focus on creative ways to resolve disputes rather than create them. However, James also appreciates that clients often have immediate needs that demand swift action and court intervention. In every instance, James’s goal is to help families deal with critical legal issues through patient, thoughtful, and professional guidance and representation focused on preserving their legal rights and interests.

Since the day he became an attorney, James has focused his practice solely on family law. James is experienced in several areas of family law, including divorce cases involving high net worth, complex finances, jurisdictional issues, and enforcement. He also has extensive experience litigating matters both in court and through the mediation/arbitration process. James understands that the decisions made in a case will affect a client’s financial health for years to come and approaches each case with a long-term outcome focus and strategy.


  • Seattle University School of Law
    • Juris Doctor
    • CALI Award for Trial Advocacy
    • Cheney/Metzger Writing Competition Scholarship Nominee
  • Pacific Lutheran University
    • B.A. Prelaw and Philosophy
  • Edmonds Community College
    • Advanced Paralegal Certificate


  • “When Divorce May Be The Only Cure: An Unconventional Approach to Healthcare Access for Sick Spouses,” King County Bar Bulletin, August 2018
  • “Divorce Under Tax Reform: The Elimination of the Spousal Support Tax Benefit and Other Changes,” Strafford CLE Webinar, 2019

Professional and Civic

Named as a “Ones to Watch” by The Best Lawyers in America, 2021 ed., 2022 ed., 2023 ed.

Named a “Rising Star,” by Washington Super Lawyers magazine, Family Law, 2019-2022

Member, Washington State Bar Association

King County Bar Association

Domestic Relations Attorneys of Washington (DRAW)


James lives on the Eastside with his wife. He enjoys traveling, snowboarding, hiking, and cooking. He is also a regular at Seahawks, Mariner, and Sounders games. James flew his first Cessna flight at Boeing field and hopes to get his pilot’s license someday.

James D. Stensel

Practice Areas


If you are going through the most difficult time in your life because of your divorce, James is the one you need. I had the most crazy divorce one could imagine with the other side lawyer being greedy, lying, unethical, spiteful and the worse you could imagine... well, that was her. Regardless of what she did James stayed true to his core values, provided the best guidance and advice one could. I believe James is absolutely unique and the best at what he does. I would recommend him without hesitation to anyone, anytime, anywhere! I could not have asked for a better person and a lawyer to be by my side!
Michael - via AVVO
James was my attorney as I filed divorce from my husband, having signed a prenup under duress. We have two minor children. James was able to strategize all the way, and knew every fact of my case, through the custody issues and also settled my case in a manner that protected me, as I had signed a prenup (which would have been an uphill battle to overturn) and provided a very fair amount for me to re start my life. Most of all, he and his paralegal Honor really understood the complex emotional issues along the way and treated me with respect and dignity. The communication along the way was beyond excellent. He acted throughout with great honesty and integrity.
Anonymous - via AVVO
James Stensel was invaluable during my high conflict divorce which lasted over 16 months. During that time, James was thoroughly proficient, attentive, and focused on the issues at hand enabling him to deliver amazing court document responses. During the most emotionally driven years of my life, James always remained calm, confident and enlightened with the law enabling my journey through our justice system tolerable. Having to step up and redefend me in a case that started 30 months ago, he hasn’t forgotten a detail. His delivery in court is well prepared and confident. And best of all, his ethics and integrity are strong and he’s just flat out an amiable and cordial man. I would highly recommend him.
Anonymous - via AVVO