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Fennemore Craig continues 135-year legacy of innovation and growth

Law firm drives cutting-edge solutions for clients, rewarding career opportunities for staff

Photo of Fennemore Craig Phoenix office

Law firm Fennemore Craig's Phoenix office.

September 16, 2020

With a long legacy of top-ranking attorneys delivering solutions to leading companies and entrepreneurs, Fennemore Craig continues to expand its practice and locations to offer innovative career growth opportunities to graduates of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

ASU Law recently spoke with CEO and Managing Partner James Goodnow of Fennemore Craig, ranked among the 250 largest law firms in the United States by the National Law Journal. Goodnow, who started as a clerk at the firm at age 18, grew to become the youngest known chief executive of a large law firm by age 36. He talks about what differentiates Fennemore Craig from other firms and how it is looking forward to further expanding its leadership in the western U.S. through a merger with California firm Dowling Aaron. Learn more from the conversation in the video below.

Susan Wissink, who is director of business and finance for Fennemore Craig, a member of the firm’s management committee and an ASU Law 1995 JD grad, said that working for Fennemore Craig gives her the opportunity to work with attorneys in most practice areas of the firm and at all levels of experience.

“I particularly enjoy working with and training younger attorneys,” Wissink said. “I immediately began working as an associate here when I graduated from ASU Law, and I especially value sharing my wisdom and experience to help others, especially women, to help build a path to a rewarding and fulfilling career.”


Video by ASU Law

headshot of ASU alum Susan Wissink, Fennemore Craig director of business and finance

Susan Wissink, Fennemore Craig director of business and finance and management committee member, and an ASU Law 1995 JD grad.

Diversity is a top initiative for Fennemore Craig, with Goodnow and ASU Law joining together last year to establish the Diversity Scholarship and Fellowship. The program was created to effect meaningful change and broaden the industry’s demographics by growing the pipeline of diverse candidates from ASU Law. Hoping to increase diversity both at its own firm and within the greater legal sector, Fennemore Craig has announced Spencer Shockness, an ASU Law first-year student, as the next fellow.

“I am very excited to be this year's Fennemore Craig ASU Law Diversity Fellow,” Shockness said. “This opportunity has been incredible for me so far because not only has it set me up for financial success during my first year of law school, but the mentorship I have received from the attorneys at Fennemore Craig has been invaluable. Fennemore Craig has gone over and above what I expected when communicating with me regarding advice, helpful tips and mentoring.”

headshot of Spencer Shockness, ASU Law first-year student

Spencer Shockness, ASU Law first-year student, is the next Fennemore Craig Diversity Fellow.

Shockness, who completed his undergraduate degree at ASU with a double major in management and business law, said he is currently interested in pursuing a career in corporate litigation. While his future career goals may change, “after meeting the diverse group of attorneys at Fennemore Craig, I have been exposed to what many areas of the law look like in practice,” he said. “I am more excited now about my opportunity to explore any of these paths postgraduation.”

Goodnow, who holds his JD from Harvard Law School and dual business management certificates from MIT, is currently attending the Cambridge University Judge Business School in the United Kingdom, where he's working toward a master’s degree in entrepreneurship. He is the co-author of "Motivating Millennials," which hit No. 1 on Amazon in the business management new release category. As a practitioner, he and his colleagues created and run a tech-based plaintiffs' practice and business model.