Professional Biography

Karl J. Sandstrom Senior Counsel



Karl Sandstrom is a nationally recognized authority on the regulation of political activity. He represents clients before federal and state courts, administrative agencies and legislative bodies in matters arising in ethics and lobbying, campaign finance, communication, corporate governance, civil service and tax law. 

Karl writes and speaks frequently on the subject of governmental regulation of the political process.  His articles have appeared in national publications including the New York Times and the Washington Post.  He has appeared on national television and radio programs including Good Morning America, CBS News, National Public Radio and the PBS Newshour. He has testified before House and Senate Committees of the U.S. Congress. He is a regular speaker at conferences and programs examining how government regulates politics, lobbying and campaign financing.

Additionally, Karl maintains an active pro bono practice, regularly advising the National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty as well as the Conference of Chief Judges and Justices. As part of his pro bono work and role with the Zicklen Center for Business Ethics Research, Karl advised the Mexican Federal Electoral Commission on measures to help improve the integrity of elections.

Professional Recognition

  • American Bar Association, Fellow, 2014
  • National Center for State Court’s Warren E. Burger Society, Member

Professional Leadership

  • National Center for State Court’s Amicus Committee, Member
  • Washington College of Law, American University, Lecturer
  • Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research, Wharton School of Business, Board of Advisors

Related Employment

  • Federal Election Commission, Washington, D.C., Commissioner, 1998 - 2002
  • U.S. Department of Labor, Administrative Review Board, Washington, D.C., Chairman, 1994 - 1998
  • Association of State Democratic Chairs, Washington, D.C., General Counsel, 1992 - 1993
  • American University, Washington, D.C., Adjunct Professor, 1989 - 1993
  • U.S. House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Elections, Washington, D.C., Staff Director, 1988 - 1992
  • U.S. House of Representatives, Speaker's Task Force on Electoral Reform, Washington, D.C., Staff Director, 1989 - 1991
  • Democratic National Convention, Rules Committee, Washington, D.C., Staff Director, 1988
  • U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on House Administration, Washington, D.C., Deputy Chief Counsel, 1979 - 1988
  • Democratic National Committee, Washington, D.C., Counsel, 1977 - 1979




Areas of Focus


Bar and Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia


  • Georgetown University Law Center, LL.M., Taxation, 1983
  • The George Washington University Law School, J.D., 1976
  • University of Washington, B.A., 1972