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James D. Cairns III

Jim Cairns

Erie, Pennsylvania


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Jim Cairns is an Erie area native who has been practicing law for over 20 years. After going through his own expensive uncontested Pennsylvania divorce, Attorney Cairns decided to concentrate on using technology to more affordably serve his clients in the area of simple, uncontested, no-fault divorce, preparation of divorce settlement agreements, deed changes, and retaking of maiden or prior married names. He has also prepared estate planning documents for divorced clients including wills, trusts, powers of attorney for financial and health affairs, and living wills.

Jim has been a Professor at Pennsylvania State University, lecturing in estate planning for divorced, single, and married clients. He holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Cleveland Marshall College of Law, and holds a Master's Degree in Administration from Mercyhurst College. Jim is also a Registered Investment Advisor and is the Director of Retirement Services at an Erie, PA financial firm where he consults divorced clients regarding proper financial planning. In addition, he holds Life, Accident, and Health Insurance Producer's licensure. Attorney Cairns is a frequent speaker at various legal and financial workshops.

He has a background in social work, counseling, and education, and has worked with the Gertrude A. Barber Center and Perseus House non-profit organizations. He is a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and has taught in the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law "Street Law" program and various summer youth education projects. He has recently returned from the country of Nicaragua where he developed and sponsored Nicaragua's 30th Anniversary of Literacy Celebration. Jim also holds a second degree black belt in martial arts and is a volunteer teacher of Goshin Jutsu Karate. He is the principal of Cairns Law Offices and works out of offices located in Erie, PA.

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio, 1995
  • Pennsylvania, 2002


  • Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland, Ohio
    • J.D. - 1995
  • Mercyhurst College, Erie, Pennsylvania
    • M.S. - 1992
    • Honors: Dean's List
    • Major: Administration
  • Indiana University of PA, Indiana, Pennsylvania
    • B.A. - 1988
    • Honors: Dean's List
    • Major: Criminology

Representative Clients

  • Clients needing Affordable Divorce Representation.
  • Clients needing Financial and Estate Planning.


  • Estate Planning, Penn State University, 2009 - Present
  • Business Law, Tri-State Business Institute, 2010 - Present

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • PA Bar Association
  • Erie County Bar Association

Past Employment Positions

  • Sosinc Communications, Sioux City, IA, Assistant General Counsel, Vice President of Customer Support, 2000 - 2002
  • Centurion Telecommunications, Columbus, OH, Assistant General Counsel, 1998 - 2000
  • Cairns & Cambell, Cleveland, OH , Managing Partner, 1995 - 1997

Pro Bono Activities

  • AKT- Attorneys and Kids Together, 2006 - Present
  • Developed & Sponsored Nicaragua's 30th Anniversary of Literacy Celebration, 2010 - Present

Ancillary Businesses

  • Financial Planning for Divorced and Married Clients
  • Retirement Planning for Divorced and Married Clients


  • English
  • Spanish