Mary Russell founded her legal career at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto, California advising startup companies and investors in corporate matters from initial organization and IP protection to acquisitions and public company reporting. She applies this company-side experience to her Stock Option Counsel legal services for individuals. 

Stock Option Counsel

Counsel to individuals to maximize and monetize their compensation, including employment offer evaluation and negotiation, post-acquisition employment terms, tax planning, exercise decisions, severance agreements and sales and other liquidity choices for private company stock.

Compensation design

Counsel to executives to design compensation packages, acquisition terms and exit plans that meet their personal wealth goals and protect their interests with expertise in equity compensation and the dynamics of corporate control.

Founder Counsel

Counsel to founders to protect their personal interests at startup organization, financings and exits based on founder-centered evaluation of company proposals for founder rights, investment terms and control matters.


Graduate, magna cum laude, of the University of Iowa College of Law, where she earned honors in Intellectual Property law with Professor Herbert Hovenkamp, served as a Tax Law Research Assistant to Professor Larry Ward and wrote for the Iowa Law Review. Member, State Bar of California and the International Fiscal Association.


Pro bono representation of established and emerging Silicon Valley non-profits. Awarded the State Bar of California Wiley W. Manuel Certificate for Pro Bono Legal Services and the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Pro Bono Service Award. Created the Larry Sonsini Iowa Caucus Contest to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank.