Everything we do at Fennemore is focused on helping businesses, individuals and our communities unlock their full potential and thrive.



James Goodnow is Fennemore’s President and CEO. Nearly two decades after starting his career at our firm as a file clerk, he became the youngest known chief executive of a major law firm in U.S. history. He holds his JD from Harvard Law School and dual management certificates from MIT, where he was an enrolled MBA student before pivoting to the University of Cambridge Business School (U.K.). He earned a BS at Santa Clara University, where he graduated first in his class.

James is known for his thought leadership at the intersection of law and business. He has been featured on the cover of The American Lawyer (Meet the New Boss … James Goodnow Shows What the Firm of the Future Might Look Like”), and ABA Journal named him one of “America’s Techiest Lawyers.” Apple profiled James on Apple.com and in a worldwide “Apple in Business” ad campaign. He is a contributor to Forbes and writes a legal innovation, leadership and management column for Above the Law. He is the co-author of Motivating Millennials, which debuted at #1 on Amazon in the business management new release category. He has appeared on or been covered by CNN, CNBC, Good Morning America, Today, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington PostEntrepreneurInc., and more.

James is chair of the board of directors for the National Kidney Foundation of AZ and serves on the board for Make-A-Wish® AZ. He is married to his high school sweetheart and is the proud father of two children.


  • J.D., Harvard Law School
  • Master’s Degree, University of Cambridge Judge Business School (United Kingdom), Entrepreneurship (Expected 2022)
  • MIT Sloan School of Management, Dual Certificates in (i) Management & Leadership, and (ii) Strategy & Innovation
  • Harvard Business School, Management Certificate (“Becoming a Better Manager,” HBSO)
  • B.S., summa cum laude, Santa Clara University
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society
  • Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society

Areas Of Practice

Experienced, forward-thinking advocates who go beyond the expected for clients in dispute prevention and resolution.


  • Commercial Contingency Litigation
  • Litigation

Awards and Honors

  • Southwest Super Lawyers®, General Litigation, 2021
  • Best Lawyers in America®, Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, 2017-2021
  • Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona, AZ Big Media, 2020
  • AZ Business Leader 2020, AZ Business Magazine, 2020
  • Southwest Super Lawyers®, Business Litigation, 2019-2020
  • Benchmark Litigation, 40 & Under Hot List, 2018-2021
  • Lifetime Achievement, America’s Top 100 Attorneys®, 2019
  • Top 100 LawyersAZ Business Magazine, 2019
  • Benchmark Litigation, Future Star, 2019
  • AZ Business Leader, AZ Business Magazine, 2018
  • Phoenix Magazine, 40 Under 40, 2018
  • Southwest Rising Stars®, 2013, 2015-2018
  • Benchmark Litigation, Top Litigator Under 40, Future Star, 2017
  • Top Valley Lawyers – North Valley Magazine, 2013, 2015
  • Southwest Rising Stars®, Business Litigation, 2012
  • Phoenix Business Journal: 40 Under 40 honoree, 2010
  • Newsweek, 20 Leaders
  • American Society of Legal Advocates: 40 under 40 list
  • National Trial Lawyers: 40 under 40 list
  • Legal Network: “Top Attorney”
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated (the highest rating available), by Martindale-Hubbell

Articles and Presentations

Professional and community activities

  • Member, State Bar of Arizona
  • Member, Board of Directors, National Kidney Foundation of Arizona
  • Member and Class Captain, Brophy Prep Alumni Association
  • Member, Board of Directors, Make-A-Wish® Arizona
  • Former Judge Pro Tempore, Maricopa County Superior Court
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired


  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, District of Arizona
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit