Our Team

Our Team



SUE SWANSON is the founder and CEO of the Swanson Law Office in Grand Forks, ND. She is a three (3) time graduate of the University of North Dakota holding a Bachelor of Arts in both Political Science and International Studies, a Masters of Business Administration (MBA), and Juris Doctorate of Law (JD).

Ms. Swanson has an extensive background in immigration law and practices it exclusively. Ms. Swanson’s immigration law practice focuses on all areas of immigration law including removal/deportation proceedings, family and employment-based immigration visa petitions, humanitarian relief options, employment-based work visas (E, H, L, O, and TN), naturalization, fiancé visas, and all other non-immigrant visa petitions. Ms. Swanson works with victims of domestic violence (VAWA), victims of human trafficking (T Visa), and victims of crimes (U Visas). Her practice also includes the representation of individuals applying to waive issues of inadmissibility and deportability.

Ms. Swanson works in the area of criminal defense in federal, district and municipal courts, and advises other attorneys on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. She represents clients in Federal District Court in mandamus actions to resolve delays on green cards, naturalization proceedings, as well as represents clients with federal criminal immigration charges such as re-entry after deportation, possession and/or use of fraudulent documents, false claim to U.S. citizenship, human smuggling, and other immigration related issues.

Ms. Swanson is an Independent Contract Attorney with the North Dakota Commission on Legal Counsel for Indigents, providing legal advice to ND Public Defenders whose clients may be facing immigration consequences due to a criminal charge and/or conviction. She is appointed as a Special Attorney General (SAG) with the state of North Dakota to represent the colleges and universities in North Dakota on immigration matters.

Ms. Swanson is an Adjunct Professor at the University of North Dakota School of Law teaching Immigration Law. She is a member of the ND Bar Association’s Inquiry Committee Northeast, which reviews ND attorney professional misconduct complaints. Ms. Swanson has been a guest, and has been a repeated guest speaker at the annual Upper Midwest Association of Immigration Attorneys annual conference as well as the ND Annual Indigent Defense Seminar, and other attorney continuing education conferences.

Ms. Swanson has studied and worked abroad in Bogota, Colombia, South America and Guatemala, Central America and speaks Spanish. She is married and is the mother of two boys.

• State Bar of North Dakota
• Federal District Court of North Dakota

• University of North Dakota School of Law, Juris Doctorate
• University of North Dakota, Master of Business Administration
• University of North Dakota, Bachelor of Arts – Political Science & International Studies

• AILA Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter Immigrant Advocate Award (2017) – In Recognition of Outstanding Contributions in Opposition to the Refugee Absorptive Capacity Bill (ND) (in conjunction with North Dakota Attorney Anna Stensen)
• Justice for All, North Dakota State Bar Association – 2017
• Recognizing attorneys in ND who provided 50 or more hours of Pro Bono Service to citizens of ND in 2016

• “Post-Pereira & Other Recent Court Cases,” 2019 AILA Upper Midwest Immigration Law Conference, March 15, 2019
• Panelist, University of North Dakota School of Law Federalist Society, Josh Blackman on Immigration Policy, April 6, 2018
• “Advanced Consular Processing,” 2018 AILA Upper Midwest Immigration Law Conference, March 9, 2018
• Presenter, University of North Dakota Law Women’s Caucus, Helen Hamilton Day 2017, Human Trafficking, April 7, 2017
• “Crimmigration – Blending the Lines,” North Dakota Commission on Legal Counsel for Indigents, June 26, 2015
• Presenter, Sterling Education Center, First Annual Fundamentals of Employment Law Seminar: Immigration Law, April 9, 2014
• “Sentencing to Avoid Immigration Consequences,” North Dakota Commission on Legal Counsel for Indigents, June 2013
• Guest Lecturer, University of North Dakota School of Law: Marketing Tips for Solo Practitioners, Fall 2012 & 2013
• Guest Lecturer, University of North Dakota, Sociology Class: Immigration Overview, Fall 2012 & 2013
• “Immigration Consequences of a Criminal Conviction,” North Dakota State’s Attorneys’ Association, June 22, 2012
• “What Does Legal Look Like, Working with Other Cultures. Elimination of Bias for Legal Practitioners,” 2012 State Bar Association of North Dakota Annual Meeting, June 14-15, 2012
• “Dabble, Dabble, Toil and Trouble: Immigration Law for the Non-Immigration Attorney,” 2012 State Bar Association of North Dakota Annual Meeting, June 14-15, 2012
• Guest Panel Speaker, University of North Dakota School of Law: Advice on Bar Preparation, 2010, 2011
• “Human Resource Issues and the Importance of Form I-9,” Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce: Brown Bag Seminar, 2011
• “Form I-9, It’s Just One Page,” North Dakota State Human Resource Conference, 2011
• Guest Speaker, Grand Forks Kiwanis, 2011

• WDAZ News, Census Adds New Citizenship Question, Grand Forks, ND, March 27, 2018
• WDAZ News, International UND Students Concerned by Trump Immigration Policies, Grand Forks, ND, November 14, 2016
• WDAZ News, Executive Order on Travel Ban Rattles Locals, Grand Forks, ND, January 30, 2017
• WDAZ News, Immigration Attorneys Describe Surge in Deportations Under Trump, Grand Forks, ND, June 24, 2017

New Articles
• WDAZ News, Group Holds Diversity Seminars, Grand Forks, ND, June 15, 2010
• Grand Forks Herald, “’It’s not a good law,’ Grand Forks leaders say of refugee bill, January 20, 2017
• Grand Forks Herald, “Immigration attorneys describe surge in deportations under Trump,” June 25, 2017

Brenda Defoe
Jade Embury
Karlye Enker

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