James R. McClelland was born and raised on a rice farm near Elton, Louisiana. He graduated from Elton High School in 1964. After high school, he attended Louisiana State University graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering in 1969 and a Master of Business Administration degree in 1971.
He was a member of the Army ROTC and received his commission in 1971. After serving on active duty, he was transferred to the Army Reserves and honorably discharged in 1979.
Judge McClelland married Sandra Tate in 1971 and they have two sons, twin foster daughters and nine grandchildren.
Judge McClelland attended law school at Louisiana State University graduating with a Juris Doctor degree in 1975. He was licensed to practice by the Louisiana Supreme Court in 1975.
Judge McClelland had a civil practice with the law firm Aycock, Horne & Coleman in Franklin, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana, becoming a partner in 1978. He has also served as a public defender from 1975 to 1981 and an Assistant District Attorney in the 16th Judicial District from 1981 to 2008.
Judge McClelland has been active in both the St. Mary and Louisiana State Bar Associations. In the St. Mary Bar Association he served as secretary for 1977 to 1978, president for 1978 to 1979 and member of the Board of Directors for 1979 to 1994.
His involvement with the Louisiana State Bar Association includes serving as a member of the House of Delegates from 1982 to 1995 and 1998 to 1999 and as a member of the Board of Governors from 1995 to 1998 and 1999 to 2002. Judge McClelland was Secretary of the Louisiana Bar Association from 2003 to 2005. He served on the Law Reform Committee from 1984 until it was disbanded. He served as the Vice-Chair of the Criminal Law Section and was the Chair for 1994 to 1996. He served on the Goal Nine/Budget Committee, on the Budget Committee and also has served as Co-Chair of the Section Council. He is a charter member of the American Inns of Court – Inns on the Teche having served as President in 2010 to 2011.
In 2008, Judge McClelland was elected Judge for the 16th Judicial District, Division D, and took office on January 1, 2009. In addition to his regular duties in civil and criminal courts, Judge McClelland presides over the St. Mary Parish Adult Drug Treatment Court, the DWI Court and the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court.
Judge james McClelland
500 Main St
Franklin, LA 70538
Phone: 337-828-4100, ext 630