Ph: 404.844.4130
Fax: 404.844.4135
3212 Northlake Pkwy #450906
Atlanta, GA 31145

James E. Rollins, Jr.

Admitted to Georgia Bar: 1987
Mercer University, Walter F. George School of Law J.D., cum laude (1987)
University of Georgia B.F.A. with honors (1982)


Georgia Bar Association

Stonewall Bar Association

National Employment Lawyers Association, Georgia Chapter



Mentorship Academy Chair, Georgia Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section, 2016 to 2023

”Best Lawyers”, U.S. News & World Report, 2012-present

Fellow, The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, 2015 – present

“Georgia Super Lawyers: The Top Attorneys in Georgia,” 2004 – present

2022, NELA-GA Advocacy Award Recipient

2019, Best Mentor, Fulton Daily Report

2019, Georgia Bar Health Law Section, Inspiration Award

“The Legal Elite: Georgia’s Most Effective Lawyers,” Georgia Trend Magazine, 2006, 2009, 2010

AV-Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

Life Fellow, Georgia Lawyers Foundation

“Georgia’s Top Rated Lawyers,” ALM and Martindale Hubbell, 2012 to present



Impact Theatre Atlanta, Board member, 2015 to present

Georgia Arabian Horse Association

Buckhead Business Association, member 2009 to 2010

Atlanta Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, member 2008 to 2016

Stage Door Players, Board of Directors member 1999-2003, Chair 2002

DeKalb County Commission’s Small Business Advisory Council, 1996 – 2002

I am dedicated to helping my clients find the right legal solution to some of the most complex challenges in today’s workplace. Whether for an individual or a business or as a mediator, I pride myself in analyzing each client’s situation with compassion, flexibility and strategic focus. I am now a certified mediator, and regularly assist parties in employment disputes to resolve their differences in a way to allow everyone to move forward and put their dispute behind them. Working together, we answer critical questions and leverage those insights to map a plan of action that may include negotiation, litigation or a creative strategy for navigating an ongoing situation and hopefully bringing it to an acceptable conclusion.

Laying the foundation for my skillset are the academic and professional relationships I have forged during my career. Born, raised and educated in Georgia, I have a strong connection to the people of this state and understand the values, cultures and viewpoints that shape its communities and marketplace. After graduating from Mercer University School of Law, I spent two years clerking for the Honorable Duross Fitzpatrick in the Middle District of Georgia – an experience that instilled in me the importance of exemplary ethics and professionalism for lawyers. From criminal cases to a three-month race discrimination trial, I saw first-hand a wide range of issues impacting Georgia citizens and businesses.

Following my clerkship in 1989, I joined the management labor and employment law firm Fisher & Phillips, where I gained valuable experience for the next chapter in my career. A passionate entrepreneur, I teamed with three other lawyers in 1993 to launch a firm specializing in employment law for both individuals and small businesses. In 1999, Debra Schwartz and I became partners when our firms merged to form the firm of Thompson, Rollins, Schwartz & Borowski. Twenty-five years later, Debra and I remain partners and have proven to be a formidable team.

Today, my law practice focuses on mediation and providing strategic counsel to both individual and business clients facing employment challenges and workplace issues. Through collaborative engagement, I help executives and employees navigate employment challenges, severance negotiations, agency charges, litigation and settlements. On the business front, I advise companies on compliance and day-to-day employment issues, contracts, as well as review and prepare policies and handbooks, conduct employee training and manage charges and other claims filed by current and former employees. My business clients span a number of industries, including medical, veterinary, construction, computer program development, pharmaceutical, and real estate.

Over the course of my career, I have tackled numerous cases involving government entities and large corporations, including defending a national company against overtime claims and twice defeating class certification. I am well-equipped to help clients and parties address complex and unpopular issues. Extensive experience as lead counsel in employment litigation in the U.S. District Courts in Georgia and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has positioned me for success on unique and complicated cases.

Underscoring my success has been my leadership in various professional organizations and regularly speaking at Continuing Legal Education and bar seminars in Georgia and across the country. I am an active member of the Georgia Bar Association, serving on the Labor and Employment Section Executive Committee and assuming the role of Chair in 2010-2011, when the Section was named “Section of the Year.” I have served on the Board of the Georgia Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association in many capacities including as President of the Chapter twice. In 2022, I was awarded NELA-GA’s Advocacy Award. In 2013, I was instrumental in starting a mentoring program for the Georgia Chapter of NELA. This initiative proved so successful that it was expanded statewide to the Georgia Bar Labor and Employment Section in 2016 as the L&E Mentorship Academy, a program that I chaired until 2023. The Mentorship Academy has been the inspiration for similar programs in Georgia and around the country. I was inducted into the American Bar Association’s College of Labor & Employment Lawyers in 2015. I have been included on the Georgia SuperLawyer list since its inception in 2004, identified as one of the Legal Elite by Georgia Trend Magazine, received the Inspiration Award from the Georgia Bar Health Law Section, named as Best Mentor by the Fulton Daily Report, and Debra and I, and our firm, have all been recognized by UP News & World Report as Best Lawyers and Best Law Firms since that listing began in 2013.

Outside of law, I am an avid reader and gardener, passionate supporter of Georgia football and loving owner of Arabian horses.