Joseph M. Birkenstock

Member, Caplin & Drysdale
Joseph M. Birkenstock is a member in Caplin & Drysdale's Washington, D.C. office. He joined the firm in 2005 after serving as Chief Counsel of the Democratic National Committee and practicing political law with a firm in Los Angeles.


Mr. Birkenstock focuses on advising corporations, non-profit organizations, candidates, officeholders, and other clients in structuring new political efforts and administering their political, lobbying, and issue-advocacy projects. He also helps clients respond to controversies involving issues of political law such as alleged campaign finance improprieties, conflicts of interest, and real or perceived violations of other legal and ethical obligations.


While at the DNC, Mr. Birkenstock worked closely with the party's fundraisers and campaign staff to help ensure their compliance with the myriad of state and federal laws governing their activities. He took primary responsibility for responding to several investigations into Democratic Party fundraising following the 1996 presidential election. He also assisted in the litigation and public relations efforts surrounding the 2000 Florida recount and helped implement the DNC's transition to the McCain-Feingold campaign finance regime.
  • J.D., George Washington Law School, 1992, Book Review Editor, George Washington International Law Review
  • B.A., Mount St. Mary’s University, 1989

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Publications and Multimedia
Applying Citizens United - Podcast
Free Speech and Election Law Practice Group Podcast
May 10, 2012
Election Finance and 527s - Event Audio/Video
2008 Election Law Conference
October 07, 2008