Joseph Hobson


Industry focus

For me, the best part of practicing law is helping people get organized to do something, public or ‎private.

How I represent clients at Schwabe

For over 40 years, I have been practicing business and organization law, helping design and ‎develop small businesses and public and private institutions and associations. I concentrate my ‎practice in business and property law with special emphasis on private, nonprofit and quasi-‎public entities. Most of my clients are individual farms or forest owners, or entities ‎representing the interests of farms or forest owners. I have helped organize and represent ‎several special districts and some notable businesses involved in processing and marketing ‎agricultural products nationally and internationally. I began representing private nonprofit ‎associations and public charities when I started working with the Oregon Farm Bureau in 1987.‎

My work with the Oregon Farm Bureau grew until I left private practice to become the first general counsel of the Oregon ‎Farm Bureau Federation in 1995. I helped develop the structure and function of the Oregon Farm Bureau over the ‎years, including development of a nationally recognized legal advocacy program. I created the Oregon Agricultural ‎Education Foundation and the Oregon Agricultural Legal Foundation.‎

I began my career in the title insurance industry and helped form new title insurance and escrow ‎operations in Portland for a large national title insurance company. My early experience included a ‎litigation practice involving business and property law, including title insurance defense.‎

I have experience with:‎

  • Business Law
  • Agricultural Law
  • Organizing and maintaining small business organizations, including succession planning
  • Organizing and maintaining public and quasi-public Special Districts with an agricultural purpose, such as ‎Irrigation and Drainage Districts and ORS Chapter 554 Corporations
  • Organizing and maintaining charitable and other non-profit organizations


“We were a 28 year client of Joseph H. Hobson and chose to stay when he joined Schwabe. ‎Joe has always provided excellent service his joining Schwabe has given us access to other ‎attorneys who have also given us excellent service.”



  • Helped form the City of Keizer, Oregon.
  • Helped create and shared the office of first Keizer City Attorney.
  • Served as first General Counsel, Oregon Farm Bureau Federation.
  • Helped create and develop the Oregon Agricultural Education Foundation.
  • Helped create and develop the Oregon Agricultural Legal Foundation and served as its initial Director.
  • Director, National Agricultural Law Center.


  • Willamette University, College of Law, Juris Doctor Degree, 1975‎
  • Northwest Nazarene College, Bachelor of Arts degree, 1972‎


  • Oregon State Courts
  • Washington State Courts


  • Helped organize and served as chair of the Agricultural Law Section, Oregon State Bar Association


  • Outstanding service to Oregon’s agricultural industry, Oregon Department of Agriculture, 1999
  • President’s Award, Oregon Farm Bureau Federation, 2003

Additional Events

Agricultural Law Section Meeting
Oregon State Bar, May 17, 2019

Oregon State Bar Agricultural Law Section Annual “Round-Up” CLE Program
May 17, 2019

Farm Succession and Estate Planning
Farm Preservation Program, January 22, 2019

Getting Organized: Agriculture Law
Oregon State University, November 27, 2018

Getting Organized – Farm and Ranch Business and Succession Planning
Polk County Fairgrounds, August 9 & 11, 2018

Forest, Farm & Ranch Estate and Succession Planning
May 29, 2018

Getting Organized – Farm and Ranch Business and Succession Planning
Berry Growers Conference, March 14, 2018

Getting Organized – Farm and Ranch Business and Succession Planning
Nut Growers Society, March 14, 2018

Getting Organized – Farm and Ranch Business and Succession Planning
Corvallis/Philomath Farmer Intensive, February 4, 2018

Getting Organized – Farm and Ranch Business and Succession Planning
Tillamook Dairy Co-op , January 16, 2018 

Considering Contracts: What You Need to Know Before Signing the Dotted Line
October 31, 2017

Community Activities

  • Oregon Agricultural Trust, Board of Directors

Outside Interests

Hiking in the McDonald State Forest, OSU’s research forest

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