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Joel Johnston began his legal career with Hall Estill after graduating from law school in 2015. Prior to practicing law, he worked as an environmental and engineering consultant nationally, most recently co-managing the national oil and gas business sector for a nationwide consulting firm. He has significant experience with both the technical and commercial aspects of large infrastructure projects, but is also well versed in assisting small business owners with routine compliance matters.

Joel focuses his practice in three main areas:

Environmental - transactional, regulatory compliance and enforcement defense. Within this area he assists clients with matters related to compliance with air, water, and waste laws and regulations. He works with clients in the petroleum refining, renewable energy development, oil and gas exploration and production, industrial manufacturing, commercial/industrial land development, transportation, and waste management industries, among others.

Regulatory - transportation, cannabis, OSHA. In this area of his practice, Mr. Johnston routinely assists  with regulatory compliance, permitting, and transactional matters. Because of his frequent entanglements with his environmental practice, he also assists clients with transportation law matters, including DOT enforcement defense, and penalty mitigation relating to hazardous materials transportation planning, permitting, and compliance, as well as with compliance related to safety-sensitive positions, and records management compliance.

Corporate Services - transactional, general contracting, formation, governance, litigation, bankruptcy. With a broad background as a business leader, and having served on several non-profit boards of directors, Joel is well versed in contract and commercial matters, especially in the energy sector.

Joel earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Tulsa College of Law with a certificate in Sustainable Energy & Resources Law. He served as a Notes & Comments Editor for the Energy Law Journal, and as staff of the ABA Year in Review. He was a Chesapeake Energy Corporation Scholar at the University of Tulsa College of Law. Joel is bar licensed in Oklahoma, Colorado and Wyoming, and a licensed geologist in Wyoming. 


  • University of Tulsa College of Law (J.D., 2015) Energy and Resources Law Certificate
  • Colorado State University (B.S. in Geology, 2001)


  • Oklahoma
  • Colorado
  • Wyoming
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Wyoming
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado
  • 2015-Present Hall Estill 
  • Spring 2015, The Law Office of Lee W. Paden, Legal Extern in the case styled: In the Matter of the Application of Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company for Commission Authorization of a Plan to Comply with the Federal Clean Air Act Cost Recovery; and for Approval of the Mustang Modernization and Cost Recovery.
  • Spring  2015, NBI Services, Inc./Pacer Energy Marketing, Legal Extern
  • Recognized as a Colorado Super Lawyers Rising Star in Environmental Law
  • The Landings at Standley Lake (Arvada, CO), Former Member, Board of Directors, 2018-2021
  • Former Member, Tulsa Geological Foundation, Board of Directors
  • Former Member, Living Arts Tulsa, Board of Directors
  • Member, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
  • Member, Bylaws/Nominating Committee, Colorado Environmental Management Society
  • Member, Denver Petroleum Club
  • Tulsa Bar Association, Member
  • Oklahoma Bar Association, Member
  • Wyoming Bar Association, Member
  • Colorado Bar Association, Member
  • Denver Bar Association, Member
  • Adjunct Instructor of Geology, Front Range Community College, Fort Collins, CO: Physical Geology, Historical Geology, Environmental Geology, Geology of Colorado (Jan. 2002 - May 2011)
  • Hydraulic Fracturing: A National Consultant's Perspective on Trends, Challenges and Opportunities. Presented to:
    • Mississippi Bar Association, Natural Resources, Energy, Environmental Law Section Annual Meeting (March 2014)
    • Oklahoma Agency-Industry Working Group (June 2014)
    • ASCE-Louisiana Annual Conference (September 2014)
  • Co-Presenter, “A Brief Survey of Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement Trends,” Third Quarter 2016 Oklahoma Agency-Industry Working Group Meeting, (Sept. 2016)
  • Panelist, Energy Sector Mergers and Acquisitions, University of Tulsa College Law Master's in Energy Program (January 2017)
  • Guest speaker, Colorado State University Geology & Geoscience Department; sponsored by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, (April 2019)