Austin Waisanen

Attorney |

Property Rights

Austin Waisanen is a first-generation lawyer who grew up with a liberty-loving family in Deadwood, South Dakota. His first experience dealing with local land use authorities was at 11 when he persuaded the city council to grant a variance to allow him to keep a few hens within city limits. The family home on an old mining claim was in a constant state of remodel led by dad. Austin never quite knew what “Planning and Zoning” meant, who they were, or why the soffit color selection concerned them, but he understood it to be a pejorative term.

Austin went to law school after working in the home construction and forestry trades. He worked for the U.S. Forest Service for several years, leading pack animals into the wilderness for weeks at a time for trail maintenance and in the winter grooming and patrolling snowmobile trails and areas. After growing fed-up with the federal bureaucracy, he built and remodeled several homes and buildings as a carpenter in northwest Wyoming.

At law school, Austin took a special interest in property and constitutional law, earning high marks in those classes, and was ranked first in his class. After a brief stint in private practice, where he was shocked by the routine overreaching of government officials, regulators, and prosecutors—and disappointed by the costs required to fight them— Austin looks forward to representing pro bono PLF clients whose civil liberties are threatened.

In his free time, Austin enjoys exploring the western mountains with his family and friends—whether by ski, kayak, mountain bike, or dirt bike, on foot or on horseback.