Emory Law students and alumni may schedule one-on-one advising appointments by calling or visiting our office.
Center for Professional Development & Career Strategy
Emory University School of Law
Gambrell Hall, Suite G114
1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322-2770
Office hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m; Tuesday, 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Lydia Russo, Assistant Dean
Lydia S. Russo
Lydia advises students and plans educational career programming. Prior to joining the Center for Professional Development and Career Strategy in January 2012, she served as the Associate Director for Career Services at both Roger Williams University School of Law and Florida Coastal School of Law. Lydia was also an associate at Rogers Towers, PA in Jacksonville, Florida where she focused her practice on commercial real estate transactions. Lydia received her JD from the University of Florida College of Law and her BA in psychology from Bates College.
Michelle Valteau, Senior Director
In addition to advising students, Michelle prepares and presents educational programming on various career related topics. Prior to joining the Center for Professional Development and Career Strategy in November 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 E. Yearout, Senior Director
Laura E. Yearout
Senior Director/Recruiting Programs & Communications
Laura is responsible for Emory's On Campus Interview and Job Fair programs. She also manages the communications for the Center for Professional Development and Career Strategy. Before returning to her native Atlanta in October 2007, Laura worked as deputy judicial administrator for the Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court in New Orleans, LA. Prior to that, 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
Susan F. McAvoy
Director/Public Interest Advisor
Sue is the public interest adviser 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 S. Soto
Ragi advises alumni and coordinates mock interviews for the Center for Professional Development and Career Strategy. 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 G. Brown
Lauren is originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan and is a proud Wolverine fan. She received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI and a Juris Doctor from Vanderbilt Law School in Nashville, TN. Prior to joining Emory Law's Center for Professional Development and Career Strategy, she practiced in the financial institutions group at Bryan Cave LLP, and its earlier incarnation, Powell Goldstein, LLP. Lauren joined Emory Law as the Associate Director of the Center for Professional Development and Career Strategy and has transitioned to being a full-time career advisor. She counsels over 200 advisees and enjoys close relationships with many practice society leaders from her time with the Center. Lauren enjoys spending weekends checking out Atlanta’s many parks and festivals with her husband and young daughter.
Sarah Svensen Bennah, Associate Director
Sarah Svensen Bennah
Sarah was born and raised in Arizona and is delighted to be living in Atlanta for the second time. She received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Prior to joining Emory Law's Center for Professional Development and Career Strategy, she clerked for the Honorable Julie E. Carnes, Chief Judge for the Northern District of Georgia, and she practiced commercial litigation in the New York offices of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP. At Emory, Sarah advises over 200 students, and she serves as the JD/MBA advisor. Sarah is also spearheading the development of the Career Action Plan and Program, which incorporates her passion for advising students and encouraging them to consider their personal strengths and interests as they move forward with their career searches. Finally, Sarah is proud to have spent time volunteering in Haiti for earthquake relief efforts, but her English bulldog, Turkey, is happy to have her and her husband back home.
Emily Liu, Associate Director
Emily counsels over 200 advisees and is a liaison to the Emory Law affinity groups. Originally from Rochester, New York, Emily received a Bachelor of Arts from Ithaca College and a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School. As a law student, Emily was a student attorney in the Child Advocacy Law Clinic and Vice President of the National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association. Prior to joining Emory Law's Center for Professional Development and Career Strategy, Emily practiced as a real estate associate in the New York office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. While at Skadden, Emily served on the steering committee of the Asian-American Attorney Affinity Group and participated in recruitment efforts. 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. Emily is admitted to practice law in New York. Emily enjoys traveling and cherishes the time she spent teaching English in Beijing, China and studying abroad in Seville, Spain. She also enjoys cheering on the Wolverines.
Garnett A. Taylor, Jr., Administrative Assistant
Garnett A. Taylor., Jr.
Garnett greets visitors to the Center for Professional Development and Career Strategy, schedules advising appointments, coordinates programs and provides administrative support to the Center's team. Garnett earned his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Florida A & M University and Masters of Science in Accounting from Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University. He joined Emory University in 2012.