Professor and Associate Dean Russell McClain graduated Order of the Coif from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1995. From 1995 until 2005, Professor McClain was a civil litigator in Los Angeles, California. He began teaching in the fall of 2005 as a legal writing instructor at Howard University School of Law. Professor McClain began teaching at the University of Maryland School of Law in 2006, and he received a full-time appointment to the faculty in 2007. Since then, he has worked as the director of the law school’s Academic Achievement Program, which focuses on assisting with the academic development of law students. In 2016, he was promoted to law school associate professor and appointed by the law school dean to the position of associate dean for diversity and inclusion. He also is a member of the President’s Diversity Advisory Council of the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
Professor McClain’s scholarly interest is in the psychological factors that affect academic performance, including stereotype threat and implicit bias. This research explores whether stereotype threat (the fear of confirming negative group stereotypes) and implicit bias (subconscious categorizations that are biased against racial/ethnic minorities and women) work together to suppress the performance of these groups in higher education, including in law school. See Russell A. McClain, Helping Our Students Reach Their Full Potential: The Insidious Consequences of Ignoring Stereotype Threat, 17 RUTGERS RACE & L. REV. 1 (2016); Russell A. McClain, Bottled at the Source, Recapturing the Essence of Academic Support as a Primary Tool of Education Equity for Minority Law Students, 18 MD. L.J. OF RACE, RELIGION, GENDER & CLASS 139 (2018). Professor McClain has made dozens of presentations and conducted numerous workshops for educational institutions and professional groups.
Professor McClain is president of the Association of Academic Support Educators. He also has served as a member of the Law School Admissions Council’s Diversity Committee. Professor McClain was honored by the University of Maryland Chapter of the Black Law Students Association as the 2006-2007 Alumnus of the Year. In 2011 and 2018, the chapter named him Professor of the Year.
Professor McClain has lived in Hawaii, Nebraska, Guam, Maryland, California, and Virginia. In addition to his scholarly interests, he also enjoys singing and songwriting.