Jim Marcus is a graduate of the University of Texas Plan II Honors Program and the University of Houston Law Center. Since 1993, Mr. Marcus has represented death-sentenced clients at every level of state and federal habeas corpus proceedings, first with the Texas Resource Center and then with the Texas Defender Service, a non-profit capital defense project he helped found in 1995. Mr. Marcus served as the Executive Director of Texas Defender Service from 1997 until stepping down in the summer of 2006 to join the Capital Punishment Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law. In addition to co-directing the Capital Punishment Clinic, Mr. Marcus trains and supports capital habeas counsel in Texas cases and lectures in capital defense seminars across the nation.
In recognition of his advocacy, Mr. Marcus was named a "Super Lawyer" by the Texas Lawyer in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2009, and was included in Texas Lawyer's 2001 list of "Forty Under Forty" attorneys "whose accomplishments distinguish them among their peers." In 2002 he received the "Torch of Liberty Award" from the Harris County Criminal Lawyer's Association, in 2001 he received a President's Commendation from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in recognition of his death penalty work in Texas.