Professor Margaret M. Russell is a member of the law faculty at Santa Clara University, where she has taught constitutional law, civil procedure, gender law and policy, restorative justice, and other courses focusing on civil rights and civil liberties. From 2017 to 2021, she served as the University’s Associate Provost for Diversity & Inclusion (at that time the university’s chief diversity officer). At Santa Clara, she has been affiliated with the Ohlone History Working Group, the Center for Social Justice & Public Service, the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, and the Bannan Institute. She has participated in Santa Clara delegations to El Salvador and to various Jesuit higher education conferences. She is deeply engaged with students on social justice issues and over the course of her career has served as faculty adviser for the American Constitution Society, the Black Law Students Association, the Asian-Pacific Law Students Association, and other student groups.
Professor Russell has taught at Santa Clara for most of her career, with several rewarding visits elsewhere. In 2016, she was a VIsiting Professor at the Northeastern University School of Law. In 2015, she was a Visiting Scholar at Columbia Law School. In 2014, she was awarded a Fulbright research scholarship to work with women judges in Tanzania. She is a frequent commentator on constitutional law through op-eds and media interviews.
Russell is a graduate of Princeton University and Stanford Law School. Before entering teaching, she worked for the Honorable James E. Doyle of Madison, Wisconsin; the law firm of Public Advocates; and Stanford Law School. She is a co-founder of two nonprofits, the East Palo Alto Community Law Project and the Equal Justice Society. Her past and present board service includes the National American Civil Liberties Union, the American Constitution Society, Mesa Refuge, the USF Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice, the Princeton Alumni Corps, the Princeton Prize in Race Relations, the Oakland Museum of California, the Museum of the African Diaspora, and the Tenpyozan Soto Zen Project.
Russell’s research focus is U.S. civil rights/civil liberties. Her publications include The First Amendment: Freedom of Assembly and Petition (editor, Prometheus Books) and a forthcoming book coauthored with Professor Margaret Burnham about transitional justice and the U.S. experience, entitled Righting Historical Wrongs.
She is an elected member of the American Law Institute, the leading scholarly organization dedicated to clarifying, modernizing, and improving the law.
The heart of Professor Russell’s work aspirations is to contribute to social justice.