James P. Dowden
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 also a co-leader of the firm’s government enforcement / white collar criminal defense practice, and a co-leader of the independent investigations group, which handles a range of complex and highly sensitive investigations for organizations in need of transparent, impartial third-party assessments.
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.
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.
- JD, summa cum laude, Boston College Law School, 2000; Order of the Coif; Articles Editor, Boston College Law Review
- BA, magna cum laude, Boston College, 1997; Phi Beta Kappa
Admissions / Qualifications
- Massachusetts, 2001
- Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, 2001
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 2001
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 2002
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, 2007
- The Best Lawyers in America (2021)
- Legal 500 (2020)
- Massachusetts Super Lawyers (2013-2019)
- The National Law Journal, Trailblazer (2019)