Joshua E. Friedmann

Joshua E. Friedmann


Direct: 206.470.7655

Main: 206.623.1745


Fax: 206.623.7789

Phone: 206.470.7641

Professional Overview

Josh supports a range of mixed-use and public-private developments, conservation transactions and other projects with external-facing concerns. He helps clients comply with local permitting processes as well as Washington's State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), Shoreline Management Act (SMA), Growth Management Act (GMA) and other statutes. 

Josh is passionate about un-sticking difficult problems and enjoys helping diverse coalitions to structure and execute creative solutions. He advocates before regulators and in appeals, and he has advised infrastructure authorities, hospitals, schools, nonprofits and government agencies on governance, transactions and risk-management issues. In his legislative practice, he has drafted multiple bills on housing and enviromental matters that went on to be enacted into law.

Before law school, Josh served as an aide to the White House's Council on Environmental Quality, where he worked with agencies, nonprofits, lawmakers and legislative staff to advance the Obama Administration's environmental priorities. More recently, he took leave from law practice to work as staff on the Biden-Harris presidential campaign, and then served as a volunteer ethics counsel to the Presidential Transition, where he helped incoming nominees and appointees comply with conflict-of-interest and public disclosure requirements.


  • Development and permitting of light-rail stations, affordable housing projects, behavioral health facilities, renewable energy facilities and other potentially controversial projects.
  • Saved nonprofit senior housing client over $200,000 in permitting fees for a single project through strategic structuring of application submissions.
  • Guided church client successfully through complex and contentious rezone process.
  • Enabled development of new advanced manufacturing facility by developing and executing strategy for amendment of dysfunctional preexisting site permits.
  • Represented community college in multiple appeals of city permitting actions.
  • Represented public health provider in over $140 million of tax-exempt and taxable construction and acquisition financing.
  • Negotiated long-term adaptive reuse agreement for leasehold, historic restoration and management of County-owned interpretive site.
  • Represented museum in sale of transferable development rights to for-profit developer.
  • Represented high-net-worth individuals and families in negotiating and executing donations of complex private landholdings to conservation nonprofits.
  • Washington Conservation Action and Washington Conservation Action Education Fund - Political Committee Chair, Executive Committee Member
  • Port of Seattle Board of Ethics - Chair
  • Associate (Land Use and Real Estate Transactions), Davis Wright Tremaine, Seattle, 2017 - 2021
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America®: Ones to Watch in the fields of Land Use & Zoning Law, most recently for 2024.
  • Special Assistant, Council on Environmental Quality at The White House, Washington, D.C., 2012 - 2014
  • Legislative Assistant, UPS Corporate Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., 2011 - 2012
  • Recognized as a Rising Star by Washington Super Lawyers, most recently in 2023.

J.D., Harvard Law School

  • Winter Clerk, Seattle Mayor’s Office (2017)
  • Editor, Harvard Environmental Law Review

B.S., Tufts University, summa cum laude

  • Elected to Phi Beta Kappa

Josh enjoys exploring the outdoors across Washington State, volunteering and gardening.