Stephen M. Russell, Jr.


Knowing what's right doesn't mean much unless you do what's right. — Theodore Roosevelt

Steve Russell works hard for his clients because he is deeply impacted by the challenges they face. A skilled lawyer, Steve provides tremendous value to his clients in his abilities, his judgment, and his efficiency. He has a great desire to achieve the best possible outcome for every client, and he isn’t happy unless the job is done right.

Steve has experience in high profile litigation matters in state and federal courts. He regularly represents plaintiffs and defendants in complex litigation before trial courts, appellate courts, and the North Carolina Business Court. He has argued cases before the North Carolina Supreme Court and the North Carolina Court of Appeals.  As a trial lawyer, he has worked with individuals, municipalities, health care providers, and businesses of all sizes on cases ranging from commercial litigation and employment disputes, to law enforcement matters, civil rights, defamation, class actions, and wrongful death cases.  He was part of the team that won a $12.4 million recovery for residents who were overcharged for sanitary sewer services.  He has helped other injured clients obtain million-dollar recoveries.  He has defended law enforcement agencies and officers, and other public agencies and officials, against constitutional claims, helping them to continue to carry out their missions to serve the public.  He regularly counsels municipalities and law enforcement agencies about issues related to illegal sweepstakes and electronic gaming.  He has helped families and small businesses protect and preserve the successes they worked hard to achieve.  He has helped employees vindicate their rights, and helped employers respond to difficult claims.

Steve earned his undergraduate and law degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After law school, he clerked in New Bern, North Carolina, for the Honorable Louise W. Flanagan of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.  Following his clerkship, Steve moved to Greensboro to begin private practice.

Steve invests in our profession and community in a variety of ways. He has helped to lead fundraising drives for Legal Aid of North Carolina and the North Carolina Bar Association Foundation, and serves as Vice Chair of the board of directors of Shift_ed (formerly Say Yes Guilford), a local education nonprofit. He has written and spoken about practicing before North Carolina’s appellate courts, and has served on the Appellate Rules Committee and the Appellate Practice Committee. He has also mentored law students and served on other bar committees.

Steve was born and raised in the Triad.  He is married and has two young children and three dogs.  In his spare time, he likes to read history books, watch sports, and cook (and eat) barbecue.

Education & Academic Honors

  • B.A., with highest distinction, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2003
  • J.D., with high honors, University of North Carolina School of Law, 2006
Academic Honors
  • Staff Member, North Carolina Law Review
  • Order of the Coif, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Chancellors Scholar, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Phi Beta Kappa, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


  • Supreme Court of the United States, 2020
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 2014
  • United States Court of Federal Claims, 2022
  • United States District Court, Western District of North Carolina, 2008
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina, 2008
  • United States District Court, Middle District of North Carolina, 2007
  • North Carolina, 2006

Judicial Clerkship

  • Clerkship, Hon. Louise W. Flanagan, United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, 2006-2007

Professional Memberships & Leadership

  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, Permanent Member
  • NCBA Appellate Rules Committee, 2019-2022
  • NCBA Appellate Practice Section Council, Past Member
  • Greensboro Bar Association
  • North Carolina Bar Foundation, Development Committee, 2013-2019
  • NCBA Constitutional Rights & Responsibilities Section Council, Past Member
  • NCBA Young Lawyers Section, Nominating Committee, Past Member
  • Greensboro Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section, Past President, Past Board Member
  • Greensboro Bar Association, Nominating Committee, Past Member
  • Chief Justice Joseph Branch American Inn of Court at Wake Forest Law School, Past Member


  • The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2022, 2023
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, General Litigation, 2022, 2023
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, General Litigation, 2013-2021
  • Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite, Young Guns, 2014-2018
  • Triad Business Journal’s 40 Leaders Under 40, 2016
  • International Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy, 2012

Civic & Community Service

  • Shift_ed (formerly Say Yes Guilford), Board of Directors, Governance Committee, Business Affairs Committee, 2020-22
  • North Carolina Bar Foundation, Development Committee, Past Member
  • Leadership Greensboro, Class of 2013
  • Legal Aid of North Carolina, Triad Associates Drive, Past Chair
  • Elon University School of Law Preceptor, 2008-2013

Presentations & Publications

  • Professionalism in Practice: A Local Perspective, Greensboro Bar Association, CLE Speaker, February 2015
  • Sex, Lies & Backup Tapes: A Discussion of Ethics from an Out-of-the-Box Practice, Greensboro Bar Association, CLE Speaker, January 2015
  • Co-authored North Carolina chapter of the ABA’s Appellate Practice Compendium (Dana Livingston, ed., ABA 2012)
  • “The Brave New World of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure,” The Litigator, Vol. 30, No. 1 (Oct. 2009)