Get to Know Charles Russman

Charles M. Russman is a member of Bodman PLC in the Troy office. As chair of Bodman’s Data Privacy and Security Practice Group, he leads a team of attorneys who help clients in every industry sector and of every size defend their data.

Russman is certified by the International Association of Privacy Professionals as a Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States, a Certified Information Privacy Professional/Europe and a Certified Information Privacy Manager.
Backed by ANSI/ISO, these are considered the gold standard for privacy certification and are rare and valuable credentials for a data privacy lawyer.

Russman began his career as an employee benefits practitioner and still maintains an active benefits practice as a member of Bodman’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group.

He is a frequent speaker to professional and industry groups on data security and employee benefits topics. He also is an adjunct professor at Wayne State University Law School, teaching Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation.

Russman is active with the American Jewish Committee ACCESS Board on a regional and national level and is a member of the board of directors of the Commission on Contemporary Jewish Life.

An active volunteer with several charities, he recently completed the Wish-a-Mile 300, a 300+ mile bike tour to raise money and awareness for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Russman and his wife, Stefanie, were married in November 2016. He enjoys travel and biking in his free time, among other interests.
By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Residence: Birmingham.

Why did you become a lawyer? As far back as I can remember, I was thinking about being a lawyer and I wanted to help people, so I went for it and I think I am actually helping people.

What’s your favorite law-related TV show, movie, and book? TV show: The Practice; movie: A Few Good Men; book: To Kill a Mockingbird.

Who are your law role models? Abraham Lincoln and John Marshall come to mind. Dave Walters at Bodman, with whom I have worked since my first day as an attorney, has been an amazing role model. Alan Schenk was my professor and is a friend who I always find inspiring.

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be? The President. It seems like an amazing experience I am not likely to have otherwise.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school?
Think about it very carefully, it is a lot of work (school and the job) and without real passion and perseverance it is just a lot of debt.

What are your proudest moments as a lawyer? Whenever clients tell me I have made their day easier or better.

What do you do to relax? Read, learn, cook, and exercise. I will read just about anything put in front of me and am always trying to find more things to learn. Cooking and exercise are really enjoyable and help relieve the stress of the day.

What other career path might you have chosen? Teacher, which I acted on by becoming an adjunct professor at my alma mater, Wayne Law.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self? Keep on doing what you are doing, things will turn out really well. I wonder if I would have believed that back then.

Favorite local hangouts: Anywhere with good tea.

Favorite websites: and Amazon.

Favorite app: Audible.

Favorite music: I will listen to almost everything. A few favorites: Andrea Bocelli, Coldplay, Elton John, Billy Joel, and the Beatles.

What is your happiest childhood memory? Trick-or-treating with my brother, sister, and my friend, Harrison. We would go out with old pillowcases and keep going until we couldn’t carry them anymore. I’m amazed we didn’t end up sick.

What is your most treasured material possession? My wedding ring and initial ring, they are constant reminders of who I am and what is important.

What do you wish someone would invent? I would really like a driverless car.

What has been your favorite year so far and why? I think this year might take the cake. I got married, my career is going well, my parents celebrated 35 years of marriage (as did my in-laws), my wife defended her Ph.D. thesis, my friends are having kids (or more kids), and my brother and sister are finding their strides as doctors.

What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been? Either The White House or Jerusalem. Very different but each is awe-inspiring in its own way.

If you could have one super power, what would it be? Reading peoples’ minds. That would either be really great or horrible.

What’s one thing you would like to learn to do?
Speak another language, which I am working on. Slowly.

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? Benjamin Franklin, Cleopatra, and Albert Einstein.

What’s the best advice you ever received? Doing the right thing is not as hard as you think.

Favorite place to spend money: Anywhere with a book I haven’t read.

What is your motto? Happy to be of service.

Which living people do you most admire: Warren Buffett, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Bill Gates, and Justice Ginsberg.

What is the most unusual thing you have done?
I became a certified yoga instructor. I have taken trapeze lessons. I learned a whole new area of law (privacy) several years into practice. I think the most unusual thing is maybe the number of unusual things I have done.

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