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I forge creative strategies to serve our clients in complex, high-profile situations and execute those strategies with excellence and efficiency.


Kate Swenson champions clients in the public and private sectors through all stages of dispute resolution, including trial and appeals.

Kate focuses her practice in the areas of government and constitutional litigation and appellate law. She has significant experience representing public entities, including cities, counties, and educational institutions. Formerly legal counsel to the Minnesota Special Redistricting Panel, Kate brings the problem-solving skills honed in that role and government experience to bear in her work for clients.

Kate has successfully argued before the Eighth Circuit, the Minnesota Court of Appeals, federal and state district courts, and administrative bodies. She has also tried cases and briefed appeals in federal and state courts, including several amicus briefs to the United States Supreme Court.

Kate brings practicality and an ability to synthesize information to solve complex problems for clients. Kate provides clients with in-depth analysis of their legal issues and sees around corners to avoid surprises in the midst of litigation. Clients particularly appreciate her forthright case assessments, her efficient and incisive brief-writing abilities, and her formidable courtroom advocacy.


  • J.D., University of Minnesota Law School, magna cum laude; Managing Editor, Minnesota Journal of International Law
  • B.A., University of Minnesota, magna cum laude


  • Minnesota Special Redistricting Panel, Legal Counsel
  • Minnesota Court of Appeals, Law Clerk 
  • University of Minnesota Office of the General Counsel, Legal Project Assistant 
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, The Honorable David S. Doty, Judicial Extern 


  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
  • State Bar of Minnesota


  • Eighth Circuit Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
    • Public Law Section Council (2017-present)

Katherine's Practice Areas

  • Appellate

    “What’s next?” Greene Espel can guide you through the appellate process, providing an objective assessment of the pivotal issues, developing a strategy based on how appellate judges are likely to view a case in light of legal, institutional, and policy considerations, and advocating effectively.

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  • Employment Litigation

    Businesses, public institutions, and individuals seek out Greene Espel for representation in a wide range of employment-litigation matters. 

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  • Local Government Defense

    Local government defense is a cornerstone of Greene Espel’s practice.

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  • Elections and Redistricting

    Greene Espel takes on attacks to voting rights and democratic institutions—and wins. We take on lawsuits to tackle voter suppression, election subversion, and districting issues.

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  • Constitutional Litigation

    Constitutional litigation is a cornerstone of Greene Espel’s practice. We represent individuals, private businesses, and government entities where their actions raise constitutional issues.

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Katherine's Recognition & Awards

  • 2022 Amicus Service Award, International Municipal Lawyers Association
  • Recognized as Minnesota State Bar Association North Star Lawyer for pro bono service (2013-2014, 2016-2021)
  • Listed in Chambers USAAmerica's Leading Lawyers for Business-The Client's Guide (2022)
  • Selected to Minnesota Super Lawyers list (2022-2023)
  • Appointed to a Merit Selection Panel by Chief Judge John R. Tunheim to advise the U.S. District Court of the District of Minnesota on the reappointment of U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven E. Rau (May 2018)
  • Selected to Rising Stars list, Minnesota Super Lawyers (2015-2018)
  • Recognized as Up and Coming Attorney, Minnesota Lawyer (2018)
  • Robert A. Stein Endowment Scholarship, University of Minnesota Law School

Katherine's Community Involvement

  • Minnesota Justice Foundation, Board Member (2014-present)
  • The Appellate Project, Volunteer Mentor (2020-2021)
  • The Advocates for Human Rights, pro bono work on asylum cases (2014-present) 
  • AchieveMpls, Graduation Coach (2013-2014)


July 18, 2023
16 Greene Espel Attorneys Recognized on the Minnesota Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Lists
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June 2, 2023
Chambers USA 2023 Recognizes Greene Espel for Litigation in Minnesota; Jeanette Bazis, Sybil Dunlop, and Kate Swenson Named Notable Practitioners
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February 20, 2024
Kate Swenson to Present on Pre-Trial Preparation for Minnesota CLE
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July 1, 2021
Event (7/1/2021): Kate Swenson to Present on Minnesota State Court Practice Essentials for Minnesota CLE
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December 31, 2023
Co-Author of an Eighth Circuit blog on (2019-present)
October 21, 2020
No Clearly Established Due Process Right to Informational Privacy, Says Eighth Circuit
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