Russell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa, majoring in History and Linguistics, and holds a Juris Doctor degree, with distinction, from the University of Iowa College of Law. Russ is licensed to practice law in both the State of Iowa and the State of Illinois. He is also a member of the Iowa Narcotics Officers Association.
Russ began his legal career as an insurance defense litigator in Davenport, Iowa. He was later hired as the Violence Against Women (VAWA) prosecutor at the Wapello County Attorney's Office in Ottumwa, Iowa. Russ later was named the Associate District Court prosecutor in Wapello County where he prosecuted OWI cases, assaults, thefts and minor drug cases. In 2007, Russ was named the Special Prosecutor assigned to the Southeast Iowa Inter-Agency Drug Task Force. In that position, he prosecuted all of the major drug felonies for a four county area including Wapello, Davis, Van Buren and Keokuk counties. As part of his duties he was responsible for litigating the forfeiture of approximately $100,000 in property and currency.
Russ is responsible for teaching the following subject areas: Court Organization, Rules of Evidence, Search and Seizure, Testifying in Court, Civil Liability, Confessions and Admissions, Criminal Law, Juvenile Law, Law of Arrest, Narcotics Law, OWI Legal, Procedural Due Process and Use of Force law.