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James Goodnow


President & CEO (“Managing Partner”)

PH 602.916.5440
[email protected]




James Goodnow

President & CEO (“Managing Partner”)

PH 602.916.5440 [email protected]    

“For 135 years, Fennemore Craig has played a key role in building our communities — creating possibilities for clients and team members.”


Goodnow is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Fennemore Craig, which was founded in 1885 and is one of the largest 250 law firms in the United States. The Harvard Law School graduate took the reins of the firm at age 36, which made him the youngest known lawyer elevated to the top position of a large law firm in U.S. history.  

His meteoric ascent in the legal world was notably documented by The American Lawyer in a cover story entitled, “Meet the New Boss … James Goodnow shows what the firm of the future might look like.” Apple profiled James in a worldwide “Apple in Business” ad campaign for his innovative use of technology in the law. The ABA Journal named him one of the “techiest lawyers in America” in a cover story. 

Goodnow is recognized for his knowledge of the legal industry and legal management. He is the co-author of Motivating Millennials, a book for companies attempting to grasp the intricacies of today’s multi-generational workforce. The book debuted at #1 in the Amazon new release business management category. Goodnow also writes a column for Above the Law on management, legal innovation and leadership.   

Goodnow has appeared on or been covered by countless media outlets, including NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC and the Wall Street Journal. Goodnow is a regular keynote speaker and panelist at many of the world’s leading legal conferences.  


J.D., Harvard Law School

Master’s Degree, Cambridge University (UK) Judge Business School, entrepreneurship (expected 2022)
Thesis: “Reboot: Using Entrepreneurial Strategies to Drive Innovation in Established Businesses”

Harvard Business School, Management Certificate
(“Becoming a Better Manager,” HBSO)

BS, summa cum laude, Santa Clara University (graduated 1st in class)

Phi Beta Kappa

Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society

Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society


Author, The Incredible Shrinking Equity Ranks,” Above the Law, October 4, 2019 Author, “The Guaranteed Marketing Solution®,” Above the Law, September 20, 2019 Interview, “Creating a Competitive Advantage with James Goodnow,” AZ Biz Link Podcast, September 25, 2019 Quoted, “How Mid-Market Firms Can Actually Use AFAs,”, September 17, 2019 Author, “The Accidental Ponzi Scheme,” Above the Law, September 6, 2019 Author, “LeClairRyan: Mistiming The End of the Legal Monopoly,” Above the Law, August 23, 2019 Quoted, “How Mid-Market Firms Should Pitch AFAs to Clients – Then Actually Use Them,”, August 22, 2019 Quoted, “Is the Billable Hour a Double-Edged Sword in Mid-Market Firms?”, August 15, 2019 Author, “Another One Bites the Dust,” Above the Law, August 9, 2019 Author, “Why My Kids Don’t Want to be Lawyers,” Above the Law, July 26, 2019 Author, “The War on Law Firms,” Above the Law, July 12, 2019 Quoted, “One Size Does Not Fit All: Law Firm Subscription Plans Come In All Shapes and Sizes,” ABA Journal, July 1, 2019 Author, “What Makes A Good Book of Business?” Above the Law, June 28, 2019 Author, “What If Lawyers Ran Amazon?” Above the Law, May 17, 2019 Quoted, “How Big a Threat Are ALSPs to Mid-Market Firms,” The Mid-Market Report, May 10, 2019 Author, “Why Lawyers Are Obsessed With Rankings,” Above the Law, May 3, 2019 Author, “Put Me In, Coach,” Above the Law, April 5, 2019 Author, “Axiom’s War on Biglaw,” Above the Law, March 8, 2019 Quoted, “Law Firms Hiring CEOs Without Law Degrees Reignites Debate About Turning Over the Reins to Business Professionals,” ABA Journal, March 2019 Presenter, “Leadership in Law,” Brophy College Preparatory, February 28, 2019 Author, “Why Innovation Dies in Law Firms,” Above the Law, February 22, 2019 Author, “Why Reason Isn’t Enough,” Above the Law, February 8, 2019 Quoted, “’Change is a Mantra for Law Firms, But Will They Tune in?” The American Lawyer, January 30, 2019 Author, “Law School Has Failed the Profession,” Above the Law, January 25, 2019 Interview, “Midsize Firms Used the Great Recession to Audition for Big Law’s Work,” The American Lawyer, January 11, 2019 Author, “5 Steps Every Law Firm Leader Should Take Now to Prepare for 2019,” Above the Law, January 11, 2019 Interview, “2019 Trends to Watch,” AzBusiness Magazine, January/February 2019 Interview, “Law Firm Leaders Speak,” Law 360, December 19, 2018 Author, “Getting It Right When We Get It Wrong,” Above the Law, December 14, 2018 Author, “Dictators and Democracy in Biglaw,” Above the Law, November 30, 2018 Interview, “Pop Quiz, Monday with James Goodnow, President and Managing Partner at Fennemore Craig,” Medium, November 5, 2018 Author, “Burnout, Flame Out, or Timeout?” Above the Law, November 2, 2018 Interview, “All About the Client: James Goodnow of Fennemore Craig, P.C.,” Hire an Esquire, November 2018 Author, “Will This Become Biglaw’s App Store?” Above the Law, October 19, 2018 Author, “Back to BigLaw’s Future,” Above the Law, October 5, 2018 Interview, “Most Influential Phoenicians,” AZ Foothills Magazine, October 2018 Author, “Dropping a Bomb on the Legal Monopoly,” Above the Law, September 21, 2018 Author, “The Reverse Golden Rule,” Above the Law, September 7, 2018 Author, “When VC Meets JD,” Above the Law, August 24, 2018 Quoted, “Small Firm Struggles Make for Midsize Firm Growth,”, August 23, 2018 Interview, “Managing a Multigenerational Law Firm,” Practical Law Journal, August/September 2018 Author, “Biglaw is Turning Associates Into George Costanzas,” Above the Law, August 10, 2018 Quoted, “The Big Four Threat is Real. Are You Ready?”, August 3, 2018 Author, “Law Potion #9,” Above the Law, June 29, 2018 Author, “Mo Money, Mo Problems,” Above the Law, June 15, 2018 Speaker, 2018 Legal Executive Forum, Thompson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, New York, New York, June 7, 2018 Author, “A Crisis of Confidence in Law Firms,” Above the Law, June 1, 2018 Quoted, “40 Under 40,” Phoenix Magazine, June 2018 Author, “In Defense of More Sizzle, Less Steak” Above the Law, May 18, 2018 Author, “(Don’t Just) Show Me the Money!” Above the Law, May 4, 2018 Interview, “James Goodnow Breaks Ground as Millennial Leader in Law,” AZ Big Media, April 27, 2018 Interview, “Employers Say Accommodating Millennials is a Business Imperative,” SHRM, April 26, 2018 Author, “A Letter to an Incoming Associate,” Above the Law, April 20, 2018 Author, “Moneyball Meets Attorney Recruitment,” Above the Law, April 6, 2018 Interview, “Career Advice with James Goodnow, Managing Partner, Fennemore Craig,”, March 26, 2018 Author, “Blinded by the Benjamin’s?,” Above the Law, March 23, 2018 Author, “Being John Quinn,” Above the Law, March 9, 2018 Interview, “Exclusive: Tech-minded Millennial Named Big Law Firm CEO After Starting as File Clerk,” Phoenix Business Journal, March 7, 2018 Quoted, “The Millennial Who is Now Running an NLJ 500 Firm,” The American Lawyer, March 2, 2018 Author, “The Most Important Law Firm You’ve Never Heard Of,” Above the Law, February 23, 2018 Author, “Why Are You a Lawyer, And Why Are You Here?” Above the Law, February 9, 2018 Author, “Changing the Face of Law,” Above the Law, January 12, 2018 Author, “Smash or Be Smashed,” Attorney at Law, January 2018 Author, “The ‘Culture Card’ In Law Firms,” Above the Law, December 15, 2017 Author, “Sedgwick: Death by Billable Hours,” Above the Law, December 1, 2017 Interview, “The Next Frontier for Virtual Reality: Courtrooms,” Bloomberg Law, November 18, 2017 Author, “King Kong is Coming to Crush Your Practice with a Calculator,” Above the Law, November 17, 2017 Author, “Biglaw’s Blockbuster Moment,” Above the Law, November 2017 Quoted, “Millennials Won’t Destroy Your Law Firm. Can They Save It?” The American Lawyer, October 23, 2017 Author, “Saving Biglaw,” Above the Law, October 6, 2017 Author, “Millennial Lawyers Are Invading and Are Ready to Eat Your Lunch – With a Latte,” Arizona Attorney, October 2017 Interviewed, “Millennials Take Dynamite to Boardroom Myths About Their Generation,” Yahoo Finance, June 15, 2017 Quoted, “Has the American Dream Changed?” Builder, June 13, 2017 Quoted, “What You Can Learn From Comey-Trump Memo: ‘It’s Something Taught in Law School’,” Phoenix Business Journal, May 18, 2017 Quoted, “Millennial Employees Are a Lot More Loyal Than Their Job-hopping Stereotype,” CNBC, May 10, 2017 Author, “How Business Leaders Can Attract and Motivate Millennial Workers,” Forbes, September 1, 2016 Quoted, “How to Prevent Millennials From Burning Out at Work,” CIO, August 10, 2016 Quoted, “How to Avoid the Worst Seat on the Plane This Summer,” The Washington Post, July 8, 2016 Interview, “Net Neutrality,” Arizona Horizon, June 2016 Quoted, “Brexit Vote’s Effect Unclear on Arizona Economy, But Some Impact Expected,” KTAR News, June 24, 2016 Interview, “Arizona Coyotes Threaten to Leave…Again,” Sunday Square Off, March 12, 2016 Co-Author, “Arizona Tort Law Handbook,” State Bar of Arizona


Member, State Bar of Arizona

Chair, Board of Directors, National Kidney Foundation of Arizona

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 District of Columbia Illinois New York U.S. District Court, District of Arizona District of Columbia, Court of Appeals U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit   James Goodnow at Fennemor Craig
Denver 1700 Lincoln Street Suite 2400 Denver, CO 80203 303.291.3200
Las Vegas  300 S Fourth Street Suite 1400 Las Vegas, NV 89101 702.692.8000
Nogales 420 W Mariposa Road Suite 200 Nogales, AZ 85621 520.281.3480
Phoenix 2394 E Camelback Rd Suite 600 Phoenix, AZ 85016 602.916.5000
Reno 300 E 2nd Street Suite 1510 Reno, NV 89501 775.788.2200