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Emory Law News Center


New assistant dean to bolster student support efforts

A. Kenyatta Greer |

Emory Law recently completed a multi-year reorganization of its student-facing staff positions to provide more seamless service to students while increasing the level of support in areas such as advising, bar passage, student life, public service programming, registration and student records, and accommodations.   

As part of the reorganization, Emory Law conducted a national search for a staff member to lead these areas. Kelly Woodford joins Emory Law on Monday, August 24, as assistant dean of student affairs and a member of the law school’s senior leadership team. 

“Building on the work of Dean Brokaw, I hope to create a welcoming and supportive environment to foster relationships that will help Emory Law students develop personally, academically, and professionally,” Woodford said. “The most fulfilling parts of my academic career have been assisting students to navigate challenges, build resiliency, and take advantage of the many opportunities available to them.” 

Woodford holds a bachelor’s degree from Spring Hill College and earned her juris doctor from Georgetown University Law Center where she graduated cum laude.  She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Alabama Bar. She has more than 30 years of legal practice experience in labor and employment law and has published, presented, and taught, as well.  

Woodford brings a new perspective to student services from her decades-long work with students, staff and faculty in the context of a business school.  In her 13-year career at the Mitchell College of Business at the University of South Alabama, Woodford advanced to assume the role of associate dean with responsibility for the overall management of the undergraduate degree programs, including curriculum management and mapping, assurance of learning, student success and retention, experiential learning, and other student-focused initiatives. She also oversaw advising efforts, including providing training and support for faculty advisors. Faculty and staff who met with Kelly during the search process noted that Woodford’s background in law and higher education offers a unique opportunity to foster an innovative, student-focused team within student services at Emory Law.  

Mary Anne Bobinski, dean and Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law, said, “Kelly joins us at an ideal time—with both the law school and university focused on student flourishing and with a newly unified team within the law school devoted to serving our outstanding student body. Her legal and academic experience, coupled with her compassion and commitment to students, will accelerate the implementation of student-centered programming across Emory Law.”