Kristen K. Waggoner

Kristen K. Waggoner

General Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom

Kristen K. Waggoner serves as general counslel with Alliance Defending Freedom. ADF is a faith-based legal advocacy organization that protects fundamental freedoms and promotes the inherent dignity of all people. ADF engages in litigation, legislative work, training, funding, and public advocacy with over 400 team members and 4,500 network attorneys. ADF also provides legal counsel to over 3,500 churches and ministries through its Ministry Alliance program. Since 2011, ADF has represented the winning parties in 14 U.S. Supreme Court decisions, including Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission and Uzuebgunam v. Presczewski, which Waggoner argued at the Supreme Court. She will argue her third case at the U.S. Supreme Court during the fall of 2022.

Waggoner has extensive experience in civil litigation, and in employment, education, nonprofit, and constitutional law. After clerking with Washington Supreme Court Justice Richard B. Sanders and interning with U.S. Rep. Linda Smith, Waggoner joined Ellis, Li & McKinstry, a Seattle law firm, where she served as a partner from 2004 until she joined ADF in 2013. At ELM, Waggoner participated as counsel in hundreds of legal matters including constitutional cases such as Andersen v. King County (same-sex marriage), Stormans v. Wiesman (pharmacists’ conscience rights), State ex rel Gallwey v. Grimm (financial aid to religious university students), and State v. Hamlin (clergy-penitent privilege).

Waggoner is Peer Review Rated AV® Preeminent™ in Martindale-Hubbell. Washington Law & Politics selected her as a “Rising Star” for many years, and she is a sought-after national speaker on legal and cultural issues. She regularly comments on religious freedom issues in television, radio, and print media. Waggoner is admitted to practice in multiple states, the Supreme Court, and numerous federal district and appellate courts.


A person listed as a contributor has spoken or otherwise participated in Federalist Society events, publications, or multimedia presentations. A person's appearance on this list does not imply any other endorsement or relationship between the person and the Federalist Society. In most cases, the biographical information on a person's "contributor" page is provided directly by the person, and the Federalist Society does not edit or otherwise endorse that information. The Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues. All expressions of opinion by a contributor are those of the contributor.