Jim Kitchens and his wife Mary, a retired public school teacher, reside in his hometown of Crystal Springs, where they have lived since their marriage in 1968.
The Kitchenses are active in First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, where Jim teaches Sunday School and serves as a deacon. Mary also teaches Sunday School and is director of Golden Days, an outreach program for the elderly. They are the parents of five adult children, three of whom practice law with Jim.
Jim Kitchens received his undergraduate degree in 1964 from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg and earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Mississippi in Oxford in 1967. He is licensed to practice law in Mississippi and the District of Columbia, as well as in all state and federal appellate courts.
Jim Kitchens was elected three times as district attorney for a four-county district, and has been active in the National District Attorneys Association and the Mississippi Prosecutors Association. Since returning to private practice, Jim Kitchens has served in leadership roles for the American Association for Justice and the Mississippi Association for Justice, including on the boards of governors and executive committees.
In 1998, Jim Kitchens successfully litigated an heirship paternity proceeding on behalf of the only child of blues legend Robert Johnson, more than 60 years after the musician's death. Jim has appeared in Rolling Stone magazine and will be portrayed in an upcoming HBO movie about the case.