A native Texan, Judge Richard A. Schell graduated from SMU with his bachelor's degree in 1972 and his J.D. degree in 1975. He was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in June of 1988 as a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas. Judge Schell taught Research Methods/Legal Writing to first year students at the SMU School of Law from 1975 to 1976. He then became an assistant district attorney for Collin County, Texas. After serving as an assistant D.A., he spent five years in private practice until 1982 when he was appointed and then elected as a County Court at Law Judge for Collin County. In 1986, he was elected as a State District Judge for the 219th Judicial District Court in Collin County and remained in that position until his appointment to the federal bench in 1988. Judge Schell served as chief judge of the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas from 1994 until 2001. He has also served on the U. S. Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules and on the board of the Federal Judges Association.
Judge Schell teaches Civil Litigation: Critical Issues & Policies in Civil Procedure.