James R. Rasband was born in Seattle, Washington, on March 20, 1963. He married Mary Diane Williams in 1984. They are the parents of four children.
He received a bachelor of arts degree in English and Near Eastern studies from Brigham Young University in 1986 and a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1989. He began his career as an attorney with Perkins Coie in Seattle, Washington.
He has served in a number of Church callings, including full-time missionary in the Korea Seoul Mission, ward mission leader, ward executive secretary, counselor in an elders quorum presidency, high councilor, bishop, counselor in a stake presidency, ward Young Men president, counselor in a bishopric, stake president, Gospel Doctrine teacher, and assistant Scoutmaster, Area Seventy and a member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy in the Utah South Area.
Elder James R. Rasband has served as Second Counselor in the Asia North Area Presidency and is currently serving as First Counselor in the Asia North Area Presidency.
In 1995 he joined the faculty of the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. He later served as dean of the J. Reuben Clark Law School from 2009 to 2016 and then as academic vice president of Brigham Young University.