Emory Law strengthens focus on career management

Emory Report | April 25, 2013

Emory University School of Law has announced the integration of its Office of Career Services with its recently established Center for Professional Development and Career Strategy (the Center), furthering its commitment to provide the best professional development resources for students.  

"Dramatic changes in the legal profession demand that we take a more expansive and experiential approach toward engaging students in the profession from the moment they enter Emory Law,” says Robert Schapiro, dean and Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law  

“This move expands on the concept we launched with the Center’s founding in the fall of 2011," Schapiro says. "We are building on our commitment to provide an individualized curriculum that integrates theory and practice, as a foundation for promoting the professional success of our students."  

Through the Center, Emory Law will integrate academic and doctrinal studies with hands-on experiential learning, says Schapiro. The Center will provide a holistic approach to career services and professional development, guiding students to build individualized professional development plans, providing expanded curricular offerings related to career management and fostering deeper connections to the law profession. The change also integrates the Center more fully with Emory Law’s successful externship program.  

The Center has established 23 Practice Societies that bridge the theoretical study of law to the real world of practice. These student-led organizations bring together faculty advisors, student leaders, key alumni experts and career strategists in meaningful networking and professional development events. Practice Societies cover a range of specialties including child/family law, civil rights law, corporate/business law and intellectual property.  

Lydia Russo has been named to lead the Center as assistant dean for professional development and career strategy, after a national search. Russo, a 2001 graduate of University of Florida School of Law, has been on staff at Emory Law since January 2012.  She will oversee the transition to the newly integrated Center and continue to expand employer outreach and engagement.  

Greg Riggs, founder of the Center, a 1979 graduate of Emory Law and former senior vice president and general counsel of Delta Air Lines, Inc., has been named associate dean of external relations. In this new capacity, he will forge new links between the law school and the legal community, enhance student professional development opportunities and help students reach and engage practitioners, bar associations and sections and alumni mentors. He will continue to serve as a resource and advisor to the Center and work to forge new relationships with prospective employers.