James Goodnow, the fast-rising 36-year-old who joined Fennemore Craig’s management committee two years ago, has been elected managing partner of the Phoenix-based NLJ 500 firm. He is set to take the reins from Stephen Good on April 1, making him one of the youngest lawyers to run a large American law firm.

As the shock wore off this week, Goodnow, who started at the firm as a minimum-wage file clerk in college and admitted he “had never contemplated that I would be in this position,” was already preparing for the future.