Michael Russo

Michael Russo

Visiting Professor/Practitioner in Residence

 Sullivan Hall 418


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  • Criminal law
  • Evidence
  • Criminal procedure
  • Forensics


  • B.A., cum laude, University of California, Los Angeles, 1981
  • J.D., Order of the Coif, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, 1988


  • Police Violence and Misconduct: Accountability in Criminal and Civil Courts
  • Criminal Law
  • Evidence
  • Forensics
  • A 21st Century Murder Trial of Richard III


Prior to joining the faculty at Seattle University School of Law in 2011, Michael Russo worked for 23 years as a Deputy Public Defender in Los Angeles, California. From 1995 to 2010, he was a senior trial attorney primarily focused on homicide cases and death penalty litigation. He also helped to train and supervise new attorneys and mentored experienced attorneys making the transition to capital defense work.

Before embarking on his career as a criminal defense attorney, Professor Russo spent four and a half years working in the fields of corporate finance and marketing (while based in San Francisco, at the Bank of America), where he worked to help very large companies to become even larger.

Professor Russo has been deeply honored to have received the "Outstanding Faculty Award" from the graduating classes in 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, and 2023, and the "Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award" in 2015.

He is a member of the State Bar of California, the Washington State Bar, and the District of Columbia Bar. He has made presentations in various forums on issues related to capital trials and racial bias in death penalty cases, and the use of experts in litigation.