James P. Dowden

Partner

James P. Dowden

Partner

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Jim Dowden has nearly two decades of experience advising companies, institutions and individuals in a wide variety of investigations and enforcement proceedings brought by federal, state and foreign government agencies. 

A former federal prosecutor and U.S. Supreme Court clerk, Jim is highly regarded for his exceptional investigative skills and for his integrity in handling matters that are extremely delicate in nature. He has substantial experience conducting thorough, independent investigations into allegations of serious wrongdoing, including workplace harassment, corruption, and unlawful or unethical business practices. In light of the financial toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been counseling companies on how to anticipate fraud and corruption risk, manage their exposure to fraudulent conduct, and address instances of misconduct.

Jim also holds leadership positions at Ropes & Gray. A member of the litigation and enforcement practice group, he is the co-leader of the firm’s government enforcement and white collar group. He also is a leader of the firm’s independent investigations group, which handles a range of complex and highly sensitive investigations for organizations in need of transparent, impartial third-party assessments. Jim is also a former co-leader of the anti-corruption and international risk practice.

For five years, Jim served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the economic crimes and public corruption units in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts. As a federal prosecutor, Jim investigated and tried a variety of fraud matters and high-profile public corruption cases. 

Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney's Office, Jim was a litigation associate at Ropes & Gray and clerked for Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer of the United States Supreme Court. 

Jim’s career has been characterized by a commitment to understanding the larger place of law in our society. At Ropes & Gray, he maintains an active pro bono practice, serving clients who might otherwise lack access to legal services.  Since 2003, he has been an adjunct professor at Boston College Law School, where he teaches courses on white collar crime.

Publications

  • The National Law Journal, Trailblazer (2019)
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