Dean Irma S. Russell arrived at the prestigious law school on July 1, 2009. Prior to that arrival, she taught Environmental Law, Administrative Law, International Human Rights, Natural Resources Law and at least a dozen more over the years. Even as she was acclimating herself in her new position, she continues to serve as vice chair of the American Bar Association's Section of Environment, Energy and Resources. She is also the chair of the Professionalism Committee of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar. Two undergraduate degrees in liberal arts and education, along with a master's in English literature, complement the law degree she earned at the University of Kansas.
Before accepting the position at the UM School of Law, Dean Russell served as the NELPI Professor and Director of the National Energy Environment Law & Policy Institute at the University of Tulsa College of Law. She's authored several books and journal articles, including her most recent project, Mastering Contract Law
, which she co-authored with Barbara Bucholtaz. She also authored Issues of Legal Ethics in the Practice of Environmental Law in 2003, a chapter in ''Prisoners' Rights Sourcebook'', Prisoner's Rights - Failure to Provide Law Libraries Denies Inmates Right to Access to the Courts'' and Memorandum to Ethics Commission. A few of her journal articles include, ''An Authentic Life in the Law: A Tribute to James K. Logan, ''Modification of Custody: When May Pre Existing Evidence be Considered?'' and ''State and Local Governments Address the Twin Challenges of Climate Change and Energy Alternatives''.
Somehow, between all of her contributions to the legal sector as a whole and certainly the law school, she manages to keep her focus on those law students
who are a part of the University of Montana School of Law. As with all of her endeavors, she remains committed to making a positive contribution and improving the experience for those students as they begin their adult lives in the law profession.
It's surely felt like a roller coaster ride over the past year. The school has recently undergone a massive renovation, including an additional three stories to the Law Building. Still, Russell knows it can only improve the experience for those who are selected to attend the state's only law school.
For more information on Dean Russell, visit the University of Montana School of Law at UMT.edu/Law. Be sure to browse the electronic photo album that includes photos of the recent renovation. It's easy to see why the campus as a whole is so proud.
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