Judge Mary R. Russell

Judge Mary R. Russell

photo of Judge Mary R. Russell

Supreme Court of Missouri

Dates of judicial service:

  • Appointed to the Supreme Court in September 2004
  • Retained in office at the November 2006 general election for a 12-year term expiring December 31, 2018
  • Served a two-year term as chief justice from July 2013 through June 2015
  • Previously served as a judge on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, from 1995 to 2004 and as its chief judge from 1999 to 2000


  • Educated in Hannibal, Missouri, public schools and valedictorian of her high school graduating class
  • Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude (majors - communications and print media), Truman State University, 1980
  • Juris Doctor, University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, 1983, Dean's List

Prior employment:

  • Partner, Clayton & Rhodes Law Office, Hannibal, 1984 to 1995
  • Law clerk, Supreme Court of Missouri, the Honorable George Gunn, 1983 to 1984

Professional memberships and activities:

  • Member
    • The Missouri Bar, 1983 to present
    • Illinois Bar Association, 1984 to 1995
    • Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, 2004 to present
    • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, 1993 to present
    • Lawyers' Association of St. Louis, 1995 to present
    • Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association, 2004 to present
    • 10th Circuit Bar Association, 1983 to present
    • Cole County Bar Association, 2004 to present
    • American Bar Association, 1983 to present
    • National Association of Women Judges, 1995 to present
    • Women Lawyers Association of St. Louis, 1992 to present
    • Mid-Missouri Women Lawyers' Association, 2004 to present
    • Master, Elwood L. Thomas Inn of Court, 2006 to present
  • Also admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court of the United States and the United States District Court for both the Eastern and Western districts of Missouri
  • Volunteer judge, Lewis and Clark Middle School "truancy court," Jefferson City, 2004 to present
  • Mentor for members of The Missouri Bar and for numerous young people
  • Commencement speaker:
    • Truman State University, 2000
    • University of Missouri-Columbia, School of Law 1997 and 2005
    • University of Missouri-Kansas City, School of Law, 2006
    • A.T. Still University, 2007
  • Continuing legal education lecturer
  • Instructor:
    • Missouri Judicial College
    • National Appellate Judges' Conference
    • National District Attorneys Association

Civic and charitable activities:

  • Member, Rotary Club of Jefferson City, 2004 to present
  • Member, Rotary Club of Kirkwood, 1996 to present
  • Member, Blue Springs Lions Club, 2005 to present
  • Member, Zonta, Jefferson City, 2006 to present
  • Member, Board of Directors, Matthews-Dickey Boys' and Girls' Club, St. Louis, 2004 to 2007
  • Member, Grace Episcopal Church, Jefferson City, 1995 to present; also serves as altar guild member, lay reader and co-chair of minister search committee
  • Speaker to students and adults on Constitution Day, Jefferson City, 2005 to present
  • Reader to elementary students, Read Across America, 2000 to present
  • Judge, We the People state finals, Jefferson City, 2005 to present
  • Speaker, YMCA Youth in Government State Leadership Program. 2001 to present
  • Speaker, American Legion Youth in Government
  • Keynote speaker, Missouri Girls' State, 2002 to present
  • Member, PEO, BW Chapter, Jefferson City, 1996 to present
  • Member, University of Missouri Alumni Association, 1983 to present
  • Member, St. Louis Forum, 1999 to present
  • Board of Directors, Missouri CASA, 2006 to present
  • Member, Missouri Women's Forum, 2007 to present

Awards and honors:

  • Honorable Theodore McMillian Judicial Excellence Award, The Missouri Bar, 2016
  • Ingram's "50 Missourians You Should Know," 2015
  • Woman of the Year, Missouri Lawyer's Media, 2014
  • Women's Justice Award, The Daily Record, 2008
  • Rotarian of the Year, 2007
  • Zonta "Woman of Achievement," Jefferson City, 2007
  • Woman of the Year, Women Lawyers Association of St. Louis, 2003
  • Henry Toll Fellow, 1997
  • Citation of Merit Alumni Award, University of Missouri, 1997
  • Faculty/Alumni Award, University of Missouri-Columbia, 2002
  • Equal Justice Award, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, 1994 (for extraordinary efforts to provide pro bono legal services to victims of the 1993 flood)
  • Citizen of the Year, Kirkwood, Missouri, 2002
  • Truman State University Outstanding Alumni Award, 2003

Additional Information:

  • A seventh-generation Missourian and one of five children raised on a dairy farm in Ralls County, Missouri