Jump to Navigation

James D. DeWitt

James D. DeWitt

Of Counsel
Anchorage, Alaska

Jim grew up in Fairbanks and has practiced law in Alaska since graduating in 1975 from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, Illinois. Jim has worked at Guess & Rudd since 1986. He is the co-author of the Volunteer Legal Handbook through nine editions and for fifteen years chaired the faculty of the Biennial Nonprofit Law courses sponsored by the Alaska Bar Association. He was a member of the board of directors of United Way of the Tanana Valley for more than twenty years, and was its president in 1993. He is an avid birder and bird photographer. Jim is married to environmental consultant Nancy DeWitt, the former executive director of the Alaska Bird Observatory. 

This is the 25th year in a row of being included in “Best Lawyers in America" for his work in the practice area of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law.

Litigation Percentage

  • 5% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Alaska, 1976
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1977
  • U.S. District Court District of Alaska, 1976


  • Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, Illinois
    • J.D.
  • University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon
    • B.S. cum laude - 1972
    • Honors: Dean's List
    • Major: Communication Theory

Published Works

Representative Clients

  • Lake and Peninsula Borough
  • City of Delta Junction
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough School District
  • Interior Community Health Center
  • Denali State Bank
  • Larry D. Compton, Bankruptcy Trustee


  • Available upon request


  • Faculty Chair, Biennial Nonprofit Seminar, Alaska Bar Association, 1996 - 2006
  • Lecturer, Business Law, University of Alaska, 1978 - 1983

Honors and Awards

  • Alaska Bar Board of Governors' Award for Distinguished Service, 1999 - Present
  • AkBA Distinguished Service Award Winner, 1999 - Present

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Alaska Bar Association, 1976 - Present

Past Employment Positions

  • Birch, Jermain, Horton & Bittner, Associate, 1975 - 1977
  • Call, DeWitt, Barrett & Burbank, Shareholder, 1977 - 1983
  • Law Offices of James D. DeWitt, 1983 - 1986

Pro Bono Activities

  • Author, Volunteer Legal Handbook, 1985 - Present
  • Lecturer, Risk Management for Nonprofit Organizations, 1985 - Present
  • Member, Alaska Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Committee, 1992-2011 (Chair, 2004-2011)
  • Member, Board of Directors, United Way of the Tanana Valley, 1984-1999, 2001-2008 (President, 1992-1993)
  • Member, Alaska Conservation Foundation Board of Trustees, 2006 - present