Irma Russell joined the faculty at UMKC in the fall of 2015 as the Edward A. Smith/ Missouri Chair in Law, the Constitution, and Society. Prior to coming to UMKC, she served as Dean of The University of Montana School of Law (from 2009 to 2014) and as the NELPI Professor and Director of the National Energy-Environment Law & Policy Institute at the University of Tulsa College of Law. Professor Russell is a former chair of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, the AALS Section of Natural Resources and Energy Law, and ABA Section of Professional Responsibility. She currently serves as the Liaison of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources to the Center for Professional Responsibility and the Publications Board of ABA Section on Dispute Resolution. She has served as the chair of the Professionalism Committee of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar and as a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism and the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. She has also served as chair of the AALS Section on Socio-Economics, and as a member of the Publications Board of the Center for Professional Responsibility.
In practice, Russell represented potentially responsible parties, government entities, lenders, and others on issues arising under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), wetlands designation, site mitigation, and other environmental issues. She was founding Chair of the Environmental Law Section of the Memphis Bar Association and as Chair of the Tennessee Bar Association Environmental Section. Professor Russell is an elected member of the American Law Institute, the Judicial Conference for the Tenth Judicial Circuit, and the American College of Environmental Lawyers.
Professor Russell earned her J.D. from the University of Kansas. She clerked for The Honorable James K. Logan, United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and engaged in private practice in Kansas, Missouri, and Tennessee.