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Atlanta’s Emory University School of Law’s new assistant dean for career services says she’ll bump up the school’s ranking on career placement surveys. Naomi K. McLaurin, Georgetown University Law Center’s director for diversity and student outreach, will start at Emory on June 25. McLaurin, 40, was a practicing attorney for nine years in New York and Washington before joining the career services staff at Georgetown. A law firm tenure, she says, “helps in terms of sharing legal experiences” with the law students she counsels. In U.S. News and World Report‘s latest ranking of law schools, Georgetown is listed as 14th and Emory is 28th. Georgetown fared better on its law students’ post-baccalaureate employment rates. Of Georgetown’s 1999 law class, 94 percent had jobs before graduation, compared to 69 percent of the same class at Emory. After nine months, 99 percent of the Georgetown class had jobs, compared to 96 percent at Emory. Improving Emory’s rankings is one of her goals, McLaurin says. While her peers generally malign the U.S. Newssurvey, she calls it “a fact of life.” McLaurin, an African-American, says diversity was her primary focus at Georgetown. She started diversity programs there and tried to increase minority law students’ exposure at predominantly white firms, McLaurin says. She also counseled nonminority students in their career searches, she says. In December, Steven N. Hargrove, Emory Law’s former assistant dean of career services, resigned, claiming a lack of connection with students. McLaurin says that during her interview process she read the Daily Report‘s story about Hargrove’s Resignation ( “Law School Career Services: High Stress Job,” Fulton County Daily Report, January 2001). “The students I met with are very candid that they want more of a people person” in the assistant dean position, says McLaurin. Matching students with jobs “comes natural,” McLaurin says. She adds that the Georgetown Law Center’s student body of 1,800 was too large for her to know all the students. Emory Law’s headcount of 600 will be “a heck of a lot more manageable,” McLaurin says. Carolyn R. Bregman, who serves as outreach coordinator for Emory Law’s career services office, says McLaurin’s legal background and work experience at Georgetown are a good mix for the assistant deanship. “She brings a great energy and enthusiasm to what we’re doing as well as her unique insights coming from another school and her own practice background.” Eden D. Doniger, a third-year law student who served on the search committee, says the panel interviewed six candidates. “All students agreed [McLaurin] had the ideal background” of career counseling and legal work, Doniger says. McLaurin graduated from Brooklyn Law School in 1989 and joined the New York office of Proskauer Rose as an associate. She left Proskauer in 1992 and worked at two small litigation firms in Washington — Jordan Keys & Jessamy and Houston & Howard. She started at Georgetown in 1998.

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