Twenty-year-old midfielder Lapslie (pictured) joins the Clarets on a month`s loan from SkyBet League One side Charlton Athletic.
An all-action midfielder, Lapslie made the seamless transition into under-23 football in his first year as a full-time professional in 2016/17.
Having captained Charlton’s under-18s to the Professional Development League 2 national title a year earlier, he became a regular for the development squad, playing both at right-back and in his more familiar central midfield role.
Essex-based Lapslie, whose brother Tom is also a professional with Colchester United, made his senior bow in the EFL Trophy against Crawley Town in August, and scored his first senior goal.
James, who can play in either central defence or midfield, has been with League Two Colchester since the age of 9.
In June 2015, the 19-year-old signed a four-year professional deal and made his senior debut in the final game of the 2015/16 season.
He has gone on to make twenty-two first-team appearances – including nine this term - and is highly-rated at Colchester.