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Joshua E. Gardner

Lecturer on Law

Spring 2025

Joshua Gardner
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Josh Gardner is a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School and a Special Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Division. He has substantial experience in constitutional and administrative law based on his over twenty-year career at the Department. He has led or participated in twenty jury and bench trials, many of which involve high-profile constitutional challenges to agency actions. Among the cases he has litigated, he has served as lead counsel in cases challenging the service academies’ consideration of race in their admissions process; challenges to the alleged censorship of speech on social media platforms by the White House and various federal agencies; the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 decennial census; the military’s policies concerning transgender and gay and lesbian service members; and has participated in cases challenging the attempts to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. He also successfully served as co-lead counsel in Starr International v. United States, the $40 billion dollar challenge brought by the ex-CEO of AIG based on the federal government’s rescue of AIG during the financial crisis.

Josh previously worked for the Office of Special Counsel Robert Hur, where he served as the liaison between the Office and Capitol Hill concerning Congressional requests for information. In addition, Josh previously served as the Acting Chief of Staff for DOJ’s Office of Legislative Affairs, where he was responsible for responding to Congressional requests for information from the January 6th Committee, as well as preparing high-level agency officials for Congressional interviews and testimony. Since 2016, Josh has worked for the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, the committee responsible for the development of Civil Procedure rules.

Josh graduated from The George Washington University Law School in 2000 and the University of Central Florida in 1997. After law school he clerked for the Honorable Justice Barbara Pariente of the Florida Supreme Court. Prior to joining the Department, Josh was an associate at Shearman & Sterling, where he focused on commercial litigation.


  • J.D. The George Washington University Law School, 2000
  • B.A. The University of Central Florida, 1997