Members in Focus highlights NCBA members’ special talents and hobbies. Jim Siemens is currently a Family Law Specialist with Siemens Law Group in Asheville.
University of North Carolina School of Law
Buncombe County, 28th Judicial District
Jim Siemens is dedicated to making a difference wherever he can, starting with the family law firm he founded in Asheville more than 20 years ago.
“I want the firm to make a difference in the community,” he said. “To me, that means being a responsible advocate, one who guides clients on a path that might contribute to the betterment of their children’s lives, for instance.”
But service to others for Jim Siemens does not end with the borders and citizens of the city of Asheville. Following the dual devastation of a catastrophic earthquake and Hurricane Tomas in Haiti in 2010, he signed his firm up to fundraise for Consider Haiti, a Buncombe County-based program promoting the health and welfare of that nation’s children. The relationship continued, and in 2013 he decided to travel there with a cadre of Consider Haiti volunteers to bring medical care to nearly a thousand children.
“Too much of what we do in our professional lives is about competition if not combat. Leaving that life behind for a week, to cooperate with Consider Haiti volunteers, and to serve people who are in desperate need, was a healthy change.”
Between his extensive volunteer work, raising his young daughter, running his firm and practicing law, personal time for Siemens is dear, but in his efforts to take care of himself he’s discovered another passion—cyclocross racing.
“Racing around on a bike, in the dirt, on the grass, through sand, over obstacles, those are my favorite memories of childhood, and I get to go back there during cyclocross season.”
Like so many of our other Members in Focus subjects, Siemens highlights the value of physical activity to strengthen the body and clear the mind.
“Cycling is also a way that I rest mentally from my law practice. Answers to tough cases come to me in the course of a ride.
A member since 1994, Siemens highlights the Center for Practice Management and Director Erik Mazzone, as well as the many networking opportunities provided by section membership, as just a few of the many benefits of involvement in the North Carolina Bar Association.
“The legal community in Asheville is great, but (membership in the NCBA) helps me to understand what is happening throughout the state so that I can innovate locally.” Please subscribe to our Members in Focus YouTube channel tor visit our website for more on Jim Siemens. For more information on Consider Haiti, please visit www.considerhaiti.org.
I think I have always enjoyed arguing for a point. As a child, I’d arrive at a viewpoint, and then argue for it, like a dog on a bone. God bless my parents. I see that determination now in my own daughter; it’s pay-back time.
My favorite quote: “Is the system going to flatten you out and deny you your humanity, or are you going to be able to make use of the system to the attainment of human purposes?” –Joseph Campbell
My “must-visit” spots in Asheville include the Biltmore Estate, Curate, The Wedge and the Bent Creek Area of the Pisgah National Forest.
My advice to law students: “Law students thinking about heading into the field of family law should pay attention in their real estate, tax and contracts classes. An understanding of human psychology will go a long way too because all of your clients will be in some degree of distress.”
On volunteering: “Being a lawyer is not all there is to life, though a lot of us, I suspect, relate our self-worth to professional success. Professional success is important, but you are more likely to be a successful professional if your life is well balanced. That means doing things you are passionate about, giving back to your community and to the people in your life that you love, and doing your best as a lawyer.”