Jaime Santos

Jaime A. Santos

PartnerCo-Chair, Appellate & Supreme Court Litigation
Jaime A. Santos
Washington, DC
+1 202 346 4034

Jaime A. Santos is co-chair of Goodwin’s Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation practice, a member of the firm’s ERISA Litigation and Life Sciences Disputes groups, and co-chair of Goodwin’s Dobbs Task Force. Her work in appellate litigation, ERISA litigation, IP Litigation, and DEI issues have led to her being recognized as a DC Rising Star by the National Law Journal, a Rising Star by Law360, and a Top 250 Women in Litigation by Benchmark Litigation. She is Chambers ranked as an Up and Coming lawyer for ERISA Litigation and has also received Corporate Counsel’s Women, Influence & Power in Law Award and DCA Live’s Emerging Women Leader Award.

Jaime’s work focuses on appellate matters and complex civil litigation in federal courts, including ERISA litigation, patent litigation, class actions, constitutional law, and product litigation. She has argued before the Supreme Court of the United States and more than half of the federal courts of appeals. Most recently, Jaime successfully argued before the Supreme Court in Wilkinson v. Garland, an important case about the reviewability of immigration decisions that the Court decided 6-3 in favor of our client Situ Wilkinson. Jaime also regularly speaks publicly about matters affecting the Supreme Court, as well as diversity and bias within the legal profession. She previously co-hosted the Supreme Court podcast Strict Scrutiny and has been a guest on numerous podcasts and programs, including NPR’s All Things Considered, the National Constitution Center’s podcast We the People, and Bloomberg’s podcast Cases and Controversies. Jaime currently serves as on the Board of Directors of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee and has served on the Executive Committee of the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court (the first American Inn of Court dedicated to appellate practice), the MacArthur Justice Center Supreme Court & Appellate Advisory Board, the National Women’s Law Center’s Leadership Advisory Council, and as an appellate mentor for The Appellate Project—an organization committed to empowering law students of color to thrive in the appellate field.

Jaime maintains an active pro bono practice and was the 2023 winner of Robert B. Fraser Award, which Goodwin presents annually to one partner who has provided significant service to pro bono clients. She has been counsel of record in numerous criminal, immigration, and civil rights appeals in the Supreme Court and federal appellate courts. Jaime has received awards for her commitment to pro bono civil rights work from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and from Goodwin.

In addition to her pro bono practice, Jaime has been a thought leader in preventing and addressing bias and harassment in the legal profession. She speaks at conferences across the country, has testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and Judicial Conference of the United States, has advised state and federal courts on improving the policies and processes governing inappropriate conduct in the workplace, and has published several articles on the topic.

Before joining Goodwin in 2013, Jaime served as a law clerk to the Honorable George H. King of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, and to the Honorable Raymond C. Fisher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In law school, she was a supervising editor for the Harvard Law Review.


  • Successfully petitioned the Supreme Court to review a Third Circuit decision holding that federal courts lack jurisdiction to review decisions by immigration judges and the Board of Immigration appeals denying cancellation of removal, an important form of immigration relief for noncitizens who have long resided in the United States and have established deep roots, including families, in this country. Served as lead counsel at the merits stage, argued the case before the Supreme Court, and won reversal in a 6-3 decision.
  • Representing an ERISA plan service provider and leading financial institution in the Eleventh Circuit to defend a favorable summary decision in an ERISA class action involving novel theories of fiduciary status. Serving as lead counsel and argued the case before the Eleventh Circuit.
  • Successfully petitioned the Second Circuit for interlocutory review of a decision certifying a nationwide class of 8,000 retirement plans and obtained vacatur of that decision on behalf of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America. Served as lead counsel on appeal and argued the case before the Second Circuit.
  • Successfully represented The Boeing Company in a Fifth Circuit consumer class action appeal regarding a certified class of more than 200 million travelers. The Fifth Circuit reversed class certification and ordered the district court to dismiss the case for lack of standing.
  • Served as lead counsel to successfully defended a patent-infringement bench-trial decision in the Federal Circuit on behalf of a life-sciences company.
  • Defended a 401(k) plan sponsor in an ERISA case involving an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) on behalf of a public company. Obtained dismissal at the pleading stage in the district court and successfully presented oral argument to defend that favorable decision in the Second Circuit.
  • Led briefing and presented oral argument in the Third Circuit and California Court of Appeal regarding preemption issues under the Supreme Court’s decisions in PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing, 564 U.S. 604 (2011), and Buckman Co. v. Plaintiffs’ Legal Committee, 531 U.S. 341 (2001), on behalf of nearly a dozen pharmaceutical manufacturers.
  • Successfully challenged an anti-panhandling ordinance enacted by the City of Albuquerque that closed down traditional public fora to all expressive activities. Successfully argued the motion for summary judgment in the district court and the Tenth Circuit appeal successfully defending that victory.
  • Co-authored brief and contributed to oral argument preparation in Washington v. United States, 138 S. Ct. 1832 (2018) (Mem.), a Supreme Court case about fishing rights under 19th century Indian treaties.
  • Contributed to briefing and oral argument preparation in Supreme Court litigation regarding the standard of review of patent claim construction. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 831. The Supreme Court agreed with Teva by a vote of 7-2 that factual issues relevant to claim construction decisions are reviewed for clear error.
  • Successfully represented financial institutions in appeals before the Fifth and Ninth Circuits involving statute-of-limitations issues and foreclosure requirements.
  • Presented oral argument and successfully persuaded the Ninth Circuit in two appeals to reverse dismissal of complaints filed by an inmate under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and to reverse decisions denying the appointment of pro bono counsel.
  • Part of a team that monitored the domestic ethics program of one of the largest publicly traded companies in the United States, including the preparation of compliance and improvement reports.




Harvard Law School

(magna cum laude)


University of San Diego

(summa cum laude)


U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Honorable Raymond C. Fisher

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Honorable George H. King



  • District of Columbia
  • California
  • Massachusetts


  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Recognition & Awards

Jaime is Chambers ranked as an “Up and Coming” leader in ERISA litigation in 2023. She was also recognized by Legal 500 US for her work in Appellate and ERISA litigation.

Jaime has received numerous awards for her work on appellate cases, ERISA cases, and her thought leadership regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion. Benchmark Litigation has named Jaime a Litigation Star and one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation list; they also named her to the 40 & Under Hot List. In 2022, she was named a DC Rising Star by the National Law Journal and a Law360 Rising Star; she also received DCA Live’s Emerging Women Leaders in Law award. In 2021, Jaime was recognized by Corporate Counsel’s Women, Influence & Power in Law Awards 2021 in the Thought Leadership category. She has also been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America Best Lawyers for her work in Litigation – ERISA.

Publications, Speaking Engagements, and Press Coverage

Jaime's recent publications include:

Jaime’s recent speaking engagements include:

Recent press mentions and coverage include: