James D. Stensel


Practice Emphasis

James began his career in family law more than two decades ago, working as a paralegal for some of Seattle’s most notable and respected family law attorneys. After years spent working closely with attorneys, clients, and experts, James enrolled in and completed law school, all while working full time as a legal intern. As a family law attorney honed by his experiences, James’ strategy in every case is to begin by working to resolve disputes rather than create them. But, if the case calls for it, he loves nothing more than going to bat for his clients. James is experienced in several areas of family law, including divorce cases involving high net worth, complex finances, and jurisdictional issues. He knows that the decisions made in a case will affect a client’s financial health for many 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

Named a “Rising Star,” by Washington Super Lawyers magazine, Family Law, 2019 and 2020

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.