Attorneys of the Year: Carrie Daniel Russell
Posted: 2:35 pm Mon, February 25, 2013
By Suzy Frisch
Minnesota Women Lawyers/Graco Inc.
A guiding philosophy inspires Carrie Daniel Russell in her work and life: If you’re going to do something, do it right. First as a trial lawyer and litigator, now as an associate general counsel and past president of Minnesota Women Lawyers, Russell puts her all into the work at hand.
Involved with Minnesota Women Lawyers since law school at William Mitchell College of Law, Russell rose through the ranks of leadership to serve as president from 2011 to 2012. She’s a firm believer in its mission to inspire, support, and motivate other women attorneys while guiding them into positions of leadership in the field. And though she’s got a full workload as associate general counsel at Graco, she decided to step up as head of the organization.
“I just like to lead, and I didn’t want to have any regrets. I wanted to go in and be fully committed and be the leader,” says Russell. “MWL is a voice for women so that we can keep pushing toward having women leaders in the profession. There are still challenges there.”
Russell started her career at Larson King, where she gained litigation and trial experience by handling product liability and commercial defense cases. She served as a communications intern at Novartis as an undergraduate majoring in scientific and technical communication at the University of Minnesota — where she also ran track. Russell enjoyed the corporate atmosphere and thought she might like to work in-house one day. When the opportunity arose at Graco, she leapt at the chance.
Since 2007 Russell has tackled all manner of in-house legal work. She serves as division counsel for Graco’s applied fluid technologies division and regional counsel for its Asia-Pacific region, while also handling ethics and compliance issues, litigation, and transactional law. She’s often contending with diverse matters, including immigration, employment law, contracts, securities, and international issues.
“I like the variety,” says Russell. “I was always curious about the transactional side of the law and I thought it might be a good fit. I still like litigation but I’m enjoying being in a business.”
With her penchant for putting her all into everything she does, Russell continues moving forward in her mission to find what’s worth doing and doing it all right.