UM

UM School of Law dean stepping down to research new book

2013-06-19T17:30:00Z 2013-06-19T21:48:44Z UM School of Law dean stepping down to research new book missoulian.com

The dean of the University of Montana’s School of Law is stepping down to rejoin the faculty and conduct research for a new book after leading the program up the national charts ranking law schools across the country.

Irma Russell will remain dean until a search lands her replacement. She plans to write a book for the American Bar Association on ethics – a sequel to a book she wrote 10 years ago on ethics and the practice of environmental law.

“A lot has changed that needs to be addressed in a new book,” Russell said. “Things are in flux, and we decided it’s time to follow up on the changes.”

Russell took over as law school dean at UM in 2009 after heading the College of Law at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma, where she directed the National Energy/Environmental Law and Policy Institute.

During her tenure as dean at UM, she helped position the School of Law as one of the nation’s best graduate programs. The school saw its applications for entry increase 10.5 percent last year, a mark achieved by only two other law schools.

Just 12 national law programs saw any increase at all. Nationally, 187 programs saw a decrease in applications, with 41 of those schools recording a drop of 30 percent or more.

Russell attributes the success at UM to the program’s professors and an increase in scholarship funding for students. Last year, she said, the school awarded $100,000 to incoming students.

“It’s one of those things that sounds like a lot, but compared to other schools, it’s not,” Russell said. “We’re doing better and getting attention. We have vibrant young professors putting us on the map.”

Earlier this year, the School of Law moved up 32 spots on the U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of Best Graduate Schools of 2014. Last year, National Jurist magazine also ranked the UM program seventh on its list of best values among law schools.

The list considered cost, debt load, bar passage and placement in legal jobs.

“We’ve gotten good attention,” Russell said. “It’s very gratifying to see that students are noticing us more. We’re doing more to get the word out, we have a wonderful new admissions director, and we’re becoming better at putting more information up on our website.”

Russell served as chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, and the Association of American Law Schools Section of Natural Resources and Energy Law.

She is a newly appointed board member of Dividing the Waters, an organization of judges and lawyers focused on issues of water adjudication in the western U.S.

“She has worked tirelessly to support students and faculty of the School of Law, and she has brought the school several new, outstanding faculty members during her tenure,” UM Provost Perry Brown said. “It’s been a pleasure working with her over the last four years.”

Reporter Martin Kidston can be reached at 523-5260, or at martin.kidston@missoulian.com.

Copyright 2015 missoulian.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(3) Comments

  1. thomascash
    Report Abuse
    thomascash - June 21, 2013 7:51 am
    Not all research and writing should be published or even considered. Your defense of publish or perish is too general. I am suggesting the Dean look at the actual need to update the old version. Spend more time with the students and write about their needs. She should work on reducing the cost of law school and finding out why enrollment numbers are way down? Re-thrashing perceived ethical connundrums won't change Senator Harry Reid or racism against indians in Montana..
  2. Alan Johnson
    Report Abuse
    Alan Johnson - June 20, 2013 9:40 am
    Academics are expected to research and publish. That's part of the job requirement. The result will not be a best-seller book that will make her a lot of money, but a scholarly treatise that will provide study and guidance on the major legal ethics issues of the day. Dean Russell is making a difference.
  3. thomascash
    Report Abuse
    thomascash - June 20, 2013 7:17 am
    Do we need another book at public expense? The Dean should concentrate on teaching or pay her own expenses while she writes the book. If she donated her salary and perqs that would be another $100K for the scholarship fund. Make a difference Dean. Don't coast on the book excuse.
Missoulian Civil Dialogue Policy

Civil Dialogue Policy for Commenting on Missoulian.com

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Comments can only be submitted by registered users. By posting comments on our site, you are agreeing to the following terms:

Commentary and photos submitted to the Missoulian (Missoulian.com) may be published or distributed in print, electronically or other forms. Opinions expressed in Missoulian.com's comments reflect the opinions of the author, and are not necessarily the opinions of the Missoulian or its parent company. See the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Our guidelines prohibit the solicitation of products or services, the impersonation of another site user, threatening or harassing postings and the use of vulgar, abusive, obscene or sexually oriented language, defamatory or illegal material. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or other classification. It's fine to criticize ideas, but ad hominem attacks on other site users are prohibited. Users who violate those standards may lose their privileges on missoulian.com.

You may not post copyrighted material from another publication. (Link to it instead, using a headline or very brief excerpt.)

No short policy such as this can spell out all possible instances of material or behavior that we might deem to be a violation of our publishing standards, and we reserve the right to remove any material posted to the site.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian reporter Kate Haake presents the latest news you need to know about today's headlines in about t…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian reporter Rob Chaney presents the latest news you need to know about today's headl…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian reporter Martin Kidston presents the latest news you need to know about today's h…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian reporter Kate Haake presents the latest news you need to know about today's headl…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian reporter Kim Briggeman presents the latest news you need to know about today's he…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian reporter David Erickson presents the latest news you need to know about today's h…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian reporter Rob Chaney presents the latest news you need to know about today's headl…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian reporter Martin Kidston presents the latest news you need to know about today's h…

loading...

Search our events calendar