J. Shepherd Russell III is a partner in the firm's Public Finance Practice Group where he has practiced exclusively since 1978. His practice encompasses bond and other debt offerings issued by or on behalf of the various public instrumentalities in Arkansas and elsewhere. Shep’s work is focused on the financing of public and nonprofit projects throughout Arkansas, including bonds sold by underwriters, bonds placed with governmental agencies and local banks, bonds sold at public sale, bonds rated by national rating agencies and insured bonds. The bond issues have been structured as new money issues, refunding (advance and current) issues, and a combination of new money and refunding. He has served as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel, and trustee’s counsel in these transactions. In these capacities, he has prepared rate, election, and bond ordinances, trust indentures, resolutions, continuing disclosure statements, opinions, arbitrage certificates, official statements, escrow agreements and closing papers.

Shep previously served as the firm's managing partner. 

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers ranks Shep in the first band (highest ranking) for Corporate/Commercial: Municipal Bonds. As a testament to the esteem in which he is held by his peers, he is listed in The Best Lawyers in America for four areas of law: Municipal Law, Project Finance Law, Public Finance Law and Structured Finance Law. Chambers notes one client described Shep as

"...the best public finance bond attorney in the state. He is the one everyone turns to, and his work is always flawless."


  • University of Arkansas School of Law, J.D., 1978
    • Comments Editor, Law Review
  • University of North Carolina, B.A., History, 1975


Bond Counsel For:

  • $75,465,000 City of Springdale Public Facilities Board Hospital Revenue Bonds, Series 2016 (Arkansas Children's Northwest Project)
  • $108,870,000 Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas Various Facility Revenue Bonds (Fayetteville Campus), Refunding and Improvement Series 2016A and Refunding Series 2016B
  • $185,995,000 City of Rogers, Arkansas Sales and Use Tax Bonds, Refunding Taxable Series 2018A and Improvement Series 2018B
  • $125,880,000 State of Arkansas Higher Education General Obligation Bonds, Refunding Series 2015
  • $43,475,000 City of Little Rock, Arkansas Limited Tax General Obligation Capital Improvement Bonds, Series 2018
  • $32,570,000 City of Little Rock, Arkansas Hotel Gross Receipts Tax Bonds, Series 2018

Chambers - USA 2024 Best Lawyers - Lawyer Logo 2024 copy

Associations and Memberships

  • Arkansas Bar Association
  • Arkansas Arts Center, past president
  • Fifty for the Future, emeritus
  • National Association of Bond Lawyers
  • Phi Alpha Delta
  • Pulaski County Bar Association


  • Arkansas, 1978