James Goodnow

Top rated Mergers & Acquisitions attorney in Phoenix, Arizona

James Goodnow

Practice Areas: Mergers & Acquisitions, Business Litigation, Business & Corporate

Licensed in Arizona since: 2006

Education: Harvard Law School

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2019 - 2021, 2024 Selected to Rising Stars: 2012 - 2013, 2015 - 2018


2394 East Camelback Road
Suite 600
Phoenix, AZ 85016-3429 Visit website


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 (emeritus) and has served on numerous boards of directors, including for Make-A-Wish AZ, AZ Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, St. Thomas the Apostle School, and more. He is married to his high school sweetheart and is the proud father of two children.

Practice areas

Mergers & Acquisitions, Business Litigation, Business/Corporate
  • 80% Mergers & Acquisitions
  • 10% Business Litigation
  • 10% Business/Corporate

First Admitted: 2006, Arizona

Professional Webpage: http://jamesgoodnow.bio

Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Make-A-Wish Arizona, board member
  • National Kidney Foundation of Arizona, board member
  • Former Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Pro Tempore
  • Harvard Club, Member
  • Brophy College Preparatory Alumni Association, Member and Class Captain
Other Outstanding Achievements:
  • Goodnow has been recognized for his creative approaches to the law. In a cover story, the ABA Journal — the official publication of the American Bar Association — named him one of "America's Techiest Lawyers"
  • Co-creator of technology-based business model and brand (learn more here).
  • Featured on cover of American Lawyer Magazine
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Harvard Alumni Association, Member
  • U.S. District Court District of Arizona
  • U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit
  • State Bar of Arizona, Member
  • Arizona
  • District of Columbia (inactive)
  • Colorado
  • New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • Illinois
  • Southwest Super Lawyers and Rising Stars®, Business Litigation
  • Named to "40 Under 40" lists by the the Phoenix Business Journal, the American Society of Legal Advocates and the National Trial Lawyers
  • The National Trial Lawyers selected Goodnow for inclusion in its "Top 100 Trial Lawyers" list
  • Legal Network "Top Attorney" and a SuperLawyers® "Rising Star"
  • Lawyer of the Year, Attorney at Law Magazine.
  • AV-Preeminent, Highest-Possible Peer-Review Rating
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Researching Comparative Negligence, the Apportionment of Fault, and Comparative Contribution, Harvard Research Guidebook Series, Harvard Law School
Educational Background:
  • Cambridge Business School, 2022
  • Harvard Law School, 2006
  • Santa Clara University, B.S. (Summa Cum Laude),  Honors: Phi Beta Kappa, Honors: Recipient, Michael Shallow Award, Political Science Student of the Year, Honors: Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society, Honors: Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society, Major: Political Science, Graduated first in class, 2003

Office location for James Goodnow

2394 East Camelback Road
Suite 600
Phoenix, AZ 85016-3429

Phone: 602-916-5000


4 Years Super Lawyers
6 Years Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers: 2019 - 2021, 2024
  • Rising Stars: 2012 - 2013, 2015 - 2018

Attorney resources for James Goodnow

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