James L. Hoy was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and graduated from Lincoln Senior High School in 1979. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Dakota in 1983. During undergraduate school, he became a member of several scholastic honorary societies including Mortar Board, Omicron Delta Kappa and Phi Beta Kappa.
James received his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of South Dakota in 1986. He was admitted to the South Dakota State Bar on the same day he received his law degree. While in law school, he had two articles published in the South Dakota Law Review and served as the Senior Comments Editor of the Law Review.
In 1986, he served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Peter T. Fay, United States Circuit Court Judge, Eleventh Judicial Circuit, in Miami, Florida. In 1987, he began private practice in the law firm of Hoy & Hoy in Sioux Falls. In 1993, he was appointed as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of South Dakota.
In 2004, James joined Hoy Trial Lawyers, Prof. L.L.C. He has practiced law in Sioux Falls for over twenty-seven years and specializes in general litigation in the state and federal courts.