After graduating from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1934, James Brailsford entered the practice of law in Orangeburg where he enjoyed a large and successful practice. The challenge of public office as a duty soon came to him, and he was elected to the House of Representatives where he served two terms; one from 1938 to 1942 until World War II intervened, and he served in the U.S. Army, then another from 1947 to 1949. He was overwhelmingly elected to serve as a Circuit Judge in 1949 and remained on the trial bench until 1962.
After thirteen years on the Circuit Bench he was raised by acclamation to the Supreme Court of South Carolina as an Associate Justice in 1962 and served with distinction until his retirement in 1974.
He was a devoted father and husband. He married Miss Louise Rook Tompkins of Columbia and they had four children: two sons, James III and Daniel Thompkins, and two daughters, Amelia Tompkins Brailsford and Martha Alrich Brailsford Radsyminski.
South Carolina was fortunate to have had this man as a citizen, as a legislative leader, and as a judicial giant. When he left us, a bit of the gentility of South Carolina departed with him, but he left an indelible example which will be of absorbing benefit to those who follow in his footsteps.