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Joshua A. Swanson





Fargo, ND




Practice Areas:

Environmental Law icon
Commercial Litigation icon
Agriulture Law icon

Meet Joshua

Joshua’s practice is centered on litigation where he focuses on energy and natural resource law, business law, property law and land use, and plaintiff’s law.

Since joining the firm in 2011, Joshua has handled cases at the state district court level in North Dakota and Minnesota, the North Dakota Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota, and the United States Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Joshua successfully litigated the Wilkinson v. Board of Univ. and School Lands case to the North Dakota Supreme Court, where the North Dakota Supreme Court recognized the rights of private land owners with minerals under Lake Sakakawea, and lobbied the North Dakota Legislature to pass Senate Bill 2134, which resulted in a new set of statutes, Chpt. 61-33.1, NDCC, recognizing the rights of private land owners. Joshua was made a shareholder in December 2015.

Before joining the firm, Joshua served as a law clerk to the seven judges of the old Northwest Judicial District based in Minot and Williston, North Dakota. Prior to that, during law school, he clerked at one of Omaha, Nebraska’s largest corporate and estate planning law firms.

A proud native of Maddock, North Dakota, Joshua resides in Fargo with his wife, a medical physicist with Sanford Health’s Roger Maris Cancer Center, and their two bulldogs. He graduated magna cum laude as one of the McGrath North scholarship recipients from the Creighton University School of Law where he was lead articles editor for the law review. Joshua received undergraduate degrees in political science and history, with honors, from North Dakota State University. Joshua is a regular presenter at conferences focusing on oil and gas law issues and has had two articles on oil and gas contracts published in the University of North Dakota Law Review.

Joshua is a passionate North Dakota State University Bison fan, serving on the NDSU Team Makers Board of Directors and enjoys tailgating for Bison football as an ex officio member and adviser of Six Flags Tailgating and can be found most winters in his court side seats to Bison basketball games. He also writes a column and hosts a weekly podcast for Bison Illustrated magazine, advised the NDSU Blue Key student group, and is an active participant in NDSU’s Foundations of Leadership mentoring program. In addition, Joshua teaches Constitutional Law at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, and has taught and lectured on energy law at the University of North Dakota School of Law, Bismarck State’s National Energy Center of Excellence, and North Dakota State University.

Honors and Distinctions

  • Great Plains Super Lawyers ® Rising Stars, Thomson/Reuters (2014 – 2020)
  • “The Best Lawyers in America”, in Construction Law, 2024


  • Featured presenter at 2011 & 2013 UND Law Review Energy Law Symposium
  • Featured presenter at 2018 North Dakota NARO (Nat’l Association of Royalty Owners) Convention
  • Numerous other conferences and seminars on oil and gas law throughout North Dakota


  • UND Law Review, The Fine Print Matters: Negotiating an Oil and Gas Lease in North Dakota (publication Spring 2011)
  • Tort Law Desk Reference: A Fifty-State Compendium (2012-2018 Edition). North Dakota section co-author
  • UND Law Review, The Hand of God: Limiting the Impact of the Force Majeure Clause in an Oil and Gas Lease (publication Spring 2013)
  • UND Law Review, Ignorance of the Constitution is Not Bliss (publication Spring 2019) https://law.und.edu/_files/docs/ndlr/pdf/issues/94/3/94ndlr545.pdf
  • UND Law Review, Do Not Boast About Tomorrow: Lessons we can Learn from Today’s Covid-19 Court Cases to Prepare for Future Disasters (publication spring 2021) https://law.und.edu/_files/docs/ndlr/pdf/issues/96/2/96ndlr207.pdf

Community Involvement

  • NDSU English Department External Advisory Board
  • NDSU Team Makers Board of Directors
  • Advisor of the NDSU Blue Key student group
  • Contributor to Bison Illustrated magazine

Admitted to Practice

  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • U.S. District Court District of North Dakota
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