Lydia Russo, Assistant Dean
Since 2012 Lydia Russo has overseen a transformation of Emory Law School's Center for Professional Development and Career Strategy from a traditional law school career services office into a student-focused Career Center. Her talented, dynamic team provides customized career planning to students based on their own unique interests.
Lydia brings a decade of legal education experience to the Career Center. After an accomplished tenure as a commercial real estate lawyer at Rogers Towers, PA in Jacksonville, Florida, Lydia found her passion bridging students’ law school experiences with their professional aspirations. Following her passion, Lydia went on to serve as the Associate Director for Career Services at both Roger Williams University School of Law and Florida Coastal School of Law before joining Emory. She received her JD with honors from the University of Florida College of Law where she served as an executive editor on the Florida Law Review, and her BA magna cum laude in psychology from Bates College.
Michelle Valteau, Senior Director
In addition to advising students, Michelle Valteau prepares and presents educational programming on various career-related topics. Prior to joining the Career Center in 2009, Michelle practiced as a real estate finance associate in the Atlanta offices of Stites & Harbison PLLC and Thompson Hine LLP. Michelle earned her JD from Duke University School of Law and her BA in political science from Wellesley College.
Laura Yearout, Senior Director
Laura Yearout manages the administrative staff of the Career Center. She is responsible for Emory Law's recruitment programs and directs the communications for the office. Before returning to her native Atlanta in 2007, she was a career counselor for Tulane Law School, spearheading Tulane’s Judicial Clerkship Program. She also worked as director of employer relations/externship program supervisor for University of Florida Levin College of Law, Office of Career Services. Laura earned her JD from Tulane Law School and her BA in anthropology from the University of New Orleans.
Susan F. McAvoy, Director and Public Interest Advisor
Sue McAvoy is the public interest advisor and also works with students seeking positions in the private sector. Sue has worked in the Center for Professional Development and Career Strategy since 1993. Prior to her work at Emory, she was director of attorney recruitment and development with Hurt, Richardson, Garner, Todd & Cadenhead (an Atlanta firm, now dissolved) for 13 years. Sue received her BA in economics from Davidson College.
Ragi S. Soto, Director
Ragi Soto advises alumni and coordinates mock interviews for the Career Center. Before joining Emory Law in 2009, Ragi was an executive legal recruiter with Lucas Group’s Atlanta office. She began her career in legal recruiting as a Partner Practice Specialist and Client Relations Specialist with Major, Lindsey & Africa’s New York office. Prior to recruiting, she was the director of student activities with the City University of New York School of Law. Ragi earned her JD from Emory University School of Law and her BA in anthropology and political science, summa cum laude, from the State University of New York at Albany.
Lauren G. Brown, Associate Director
Lauren Brown enjoys working closely with students to create personalized career search strategies, as well as developing professional development programming. In addition, she advises several practice societies, working with student leaders to connect their memberships with practitioners in the legal community. Prior to joining Emory Law's Career Center in 2011, Lauren practiced in the financial institutions group at Bryan Cave LLP, and its earlier incarnation, Powell Goldstein, LLP. She received her BA in psychology from the University of Michigan and her JD from Vanderbilt University Law School.
Emily Bramer, Associate Director
Emily Bramer advises students and recent graduates. She is also the assistant director of the Emory Law Fellowship Program and advisor for several practice areas. Before joining Emory Law in 2012, Emily was an associate with the Atlanta office of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, where she practiced pharmaceutical, health care, and general business litigation. She had previously counseled international and domestic insurers in complex coverage disputes wtih Fields Howell Athans & McLaughlin, LLP. Emily earned a BA in political science, summa cum laude, from the University of Kentucky and her JD, with honors, from Emory University School of Law.
Sarah Svensen Bennah, Associate Director
Sarah Svensen Bennah advises and encourages students to consider their personal strengths and interests as they move forward with their career searches. She also serves as advisor to several practice societies and, each summer, teaches as part of the faculty for the Kessler-Eidson Trial Techniques Program. Sarah received her BA from the University of Arizona and her JD from Harvard Law School. Prior to joining Emory Law's Career Center, Sarah clerked for the Honorable Julie E. Carnes, Chief Judge for the Northern District of Georgia, and she practiced commercial litigation at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Freidman LLP in New York City.
Emily Liu, Associate Director
Emily Liu advises students and practice societies. She is also the diversity contact for the office and a liaison to the Emory Law affinity groups. Emily received a BA from Ithaca College and a JD from the University of Michigan Law School. Prior to joining Emory Law's Career Center, Emily practiced as a real estate associate in the New York office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Through Skadden's pro bono program, Emily externed at The Legal Aid Society where she represented clients in the Civil Practice's Harlem Community Law Office in a variety of matters. She also volunteered at Brooklyn Family Defense Project where she provided representation to low income parents in child welfare cases in Brooklyn Family Court.
Lori Garrett, Associate Director
Lori Garrett partners with students to assist them in developing individualized career strategies for achieving their professional goals. She also provides supports for the various educational programs and initiatives of the Career Center. Prior to joining Emory Law, she worked for the Minority Corporate Counsel Association as Vice President and Managing Director, SE Region, and practiced corporate and commercial real estate law at Weissman Nowack Curry & Wilco, P.C. and McGuireWoods LLP. She received her JD from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, and her BA in psychology and Spanish from the Spelman College.
Jackson D. White III, Program Coordinator
Jack White coordinates all programs and plans events for the Career Center's 23 student practice societies. He works with other universities to process reciprocity requests, and he also assists with managing the Career Center's Facebook pages. He is the primary point of contact for the center: making appointments, answering phone calls, and assisting with general inquiries. Jack has been with Emory Law since 2011 and the Career Center since 2012.
Garnett A. Taylor Jr., Program Coordinator
Garnett Taylor manages the job postings and the Symplicity website for the Career Center. He coordinates office finances, resources, technical Symplicity inquiries, and general high-level administrative duties. Garnett earned his BA in criminal justice from Florida A&M University and MS in Accounting from Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University. He joined Emory Law School in 2012.