Carolyn A. Russell

Office Managing Shareholder || Houston

Carolyn Russell represents management in a variety of employment-related matters, including litigation involving age, disability, race and sex discrimination claims, covenants not to compete, trade secrets, wage and hour claims, ERISA claims, and other workplace torts. 

Her practice focuses on employment litigation and consultation and commercial litigation. She handles all varieties of employment disputes, including claims of discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful termination and breach of contract. Ms. Russell represents clients in litigation in state and federal courts and in matters before state and federal administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Texas Workforce Commission and the Department of Labor.

Ms. Russell also advises employers on all aspects of employment and labor law, including wage and hour compliance, fit-for-duty and drug testing, family and medical leave, and hiring, disciplining, and terminating employees. She drafts, evaluates and updates employment contracts, severance agreements, personnel handbooks and workplace policies. She regularly performs training for clients on all aspects of labor and employment law.

Learn more about Carolyn A. Russell


  • J.D., University of Texas, 1998
  • B.A., magna cum laude, Bowdoin College, 1993

Admittance to Practice

  • Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western Districts of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

Professional Activities

  • Houston Bar Foundation (Fellow)
  • Houston Bar Association (Employment Law, Corporate Counsel, and Litigation Sections)


  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies - "The Ever-Changing Legal Landscape of LGBTQIA+ Issues" - Phoenix - May 10, 2018
  • 2017 NATERA Conference - "Texas "Million Dollar" Jeopardy: Employment Law Game Show" - Houston - September 19, 2017
  • South Texas College of Law - "Good Lessons from Hard Cases: ADA, FMLA, ADEA and More" - Houston - July 2011
  • SHRM Gulf Coast Symposium - "What’s Hot In Employment Law: Latest Developments Affecting Texas Employers" - Houston - May 10, 2011
  • Ogletree Deakins Breakfast Briefing - "The Changing Face of Employment Law" - Houston - April 2011
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Headline News – The Latest Labor Wage and Hour Employment Law Developments" - Austin - October 1, 2010
  • Houston Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section - "Recent Incidents of Workplace Violence: What Went Wrong" - Houston - August 2010
  • South Texas College of Law - "Social Media: Catching the Wave" - Houston - July 2010
  • South Texas College of Law - "Stereotype Discrimination: Texas Bound" - Houston - July 2009
  • South Texas College of Law - "FMLA's New Regs: Be the First to Hear" - Houston - July 2008
  • Ogletree Deakins Breakfast Briefing - "Family Responsibilities Discrimination" - Houston - April 2008
  • South Texas College of Law - "Release Killers, Release Savers" - Houston - July 2007
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Family Leave – The Latest Word from the Courts, Congress and the Department of Labor" - Austin - September 2006
  • South Texas College of Law - "Keeping the Secrets" - Houston - July 2006
  • South Texas College of Law - "Managing Risk: ADR, Non-Subscriber, EPLI" - Houston - July 2005
  • January 9, 2015 - - "Possible Bias in Salary Negotiations Means Unequal Pay Claim Will Proceed"
  • April 14, 2015 - Houston Business Journal - "How SEC-KBR tussle could shake up secrecy for Houston's largest companies"
  • April 6, 2015 - Ogletree Deakins Blog - "A Single "Hitler" Comment Is Insufficient for a Title VII Retaliation Claim in the Fifth Circuit"
  • Best Lawyers Award Badge
  • Best Lawyers in America (2016-present)
  • Board Certified, Labor and Employment Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ of AV® Preeminent
  • Rising Star by Texas Monthly (2007 and 2008)
  • Texas Super Lawyer (2017-present)