The grandson of New Hampshire’s 27th governor, Robert E. Goodwin, from Concord, MA, was destined for a legal career. His father Frank had practiced law in Boston for several decades before losing his eyesight and withdrawing from practice to teach at Boston University Law School. (Unable to read papers or cases, the professor relied on a secretary to read teaching materials aloud to him in his office.) His son proved an equally precocious intellect, graduating from high school at 17, receiving an undergraduate degree from Harvard in 1901, and earning his law degree summa cum laude from Boston University in just two years.
After law school, Goodwin (or “Coxy” as he was known in college, having served as coxswain of Harvard’s varsity crew) joined Carver & Blodgett, a leading Boston admiralty law firm. After just two years there, he set out on his own, though he continued to work closely with Eugene Carver, rejoining his mentor in 1907 as a junior partner in anew firm, where he practiced until co-founding Goodwin Procter in 1912.
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