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James H. Cordes has practiced law in Santa Barbara since becoming licensed in 1994. His practice has always emphasized employment law, particularly representing employees in employment discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and wage and hour issues. Since 1998, Mr. Cordes has maintained his own successful solo practice.

Mr. Cordes received his Juris Doctor degree with great distinction from McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California, in May, 1994. Mr. Cordes graduated number 3 in his class of 285 students. Upon graduation, Mr. Cordes was admitted to the Order of the Coif, an honor typically granted to those students graduating at the top of their class. While in law school, Mr. Cordes published and edited the law review.

Mr. Cordes is a Director with the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County and a past Director of the Santa Barbara County Bar Association, The Santa Barbara Women Lawyer’s Foundation, the William L. Gordon American Inns of Court, and the Barrister’s Club of Santa Barbara. Mr. Cordes is a member of the California Employment Lawyer’s Association and the Employment Law section of the California State Bar.

Mr. Cordes received his Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA in 1986. In the time between receiving his Bachelor’s degree and beginning law school, Mr. Cordes worked as a radio announcer for a variety of stations in Mammoth Lakes and Santa Barbara.

As well as practicing law continuously, Mr. Cordes has been a guest lecturer with the Santa Barbara College of Law and Southern California Law Institute.

Mr. Cordes believes that many large entities such as employers believe that employees view the legal process as intimidating and often count on that when taking certain actions against them. Mr. Cordes feels very strongly that communicating clearly and frankly with his clients and explaining the various steps in the legal process, including describing possible actions and consequences, is the best way to allow employees to make the best decisions about their rights and consequently, emphasizes this type of communication with his clients.


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