Mississippi Courts and Lawyers

Beginners Law Guide: U.S. Courts and Lawyers

Mississippi has a population of almost 3 million people, ranking the state 31st in the U.S.  About 6.8 thousand lawyers live and practice in Mississippi.  The state has about 4.4 thousand square miles of territory.  There is about one lawyer for each 6.5 square miles of territory.  The state name comes from the Mississippi River which marks its western border.  Mississippi is mostly lowlands of the East Gulf Coastal Plain.  The state has a narrow coast on the Gulf of Mexico.  Jackson is the state capital and largest city.  In addition to Jackson, the principal cities are Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Southaven, Greenville, Biloxi, Meridian, Tupelo, Olive Branch, Horn Lake, Clinton, Pearl, Ridgeland, Starkville, Vicksburg and Columbus.

Mississippi was admitted to the Union on December 10, 1817 as the 20th state.  The Mississippian or Paleo-Indians  developed a rich and complex agricultural society in the area.  The Chickasaw and Choctaw Indians inhabited the Territory of Mississippi.  After the American Revolution the area became part of the United States.

The Mississippi Supreme Court is the highest state appellate court.  The Court of Appeals is the intermediate appellate court.  The 22 Circuit Courts are the trial courts of general jurisdiction.  The Chancery Courts have jurisdiction of disputes involving equity, domestic matters including adoption, child custody and divorce.  Land records are filed in Chancery Court.  Courts of limited jurisdiction include County Courts, Justice Courts, Drug Courts, Youth Courts, and Municipal Courts.

The United States District Court for the Northern District and the United States District Court for the Southern District have federal jurisdiction in Mississippi.  The United States Bankruptcy also operates in the two districts.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, LA has Federal appellate jurisdiction of Mississippi.  The United States Supreme Court is the highest federal appellate court for Mississippi.

The Mississippi Bar Association is located at 643 North State Street, Jackson, MS 39225-2168.  The MBA states that the Mississippi Bar shall serve the public good by promoting excellence in the profession and in our system of justice.

The principal ABA accredited law schools in Mississippi are:  Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson; University of Mississippi School of Law in Oxford.


  1. Westley F. Busbee, Mississippi:  A History (2005).