Office of Career Services Staff
OCS Staff List
Abbie Willard, Associate Dean for Career Services and Policy Initiatives
Lois Casaleggi, Senior Director of Career Services
Susan J. Curry, Director, Public Interest Law and Policy
Paul Woo, Director of Career Services
Aican Nguyen, International Programs Director
Susan Staab, Associate Director of Career Services
Rachel Jennings, Associate Director of Career Services
Mindy Finnigan, Associate Director of Career Services
Nura Maznavi, Pro Bono Services Initiative Director Jessica Chiarella, Career Services Communications Coordinator
Abbie Willard holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. From 2001 until she joined the law school in 2003, she was director of external affairs for the American Bar Foundation, a research foundation dedicated to the study of law, legal institutions, and legal careers. Prior to joining the ABF she was employed by Georgetown University Law Center for more than 21 years. As assistant dean at Georgetown, her responsibilities included student and alumni career services, publications oversight and marketing strategies, web policy and content development, as well as strategic plan and self study preparation. She is a recipient of the Georgetown University McCarthy Award for Excellence in Administration and Service.
Her selected recent publications include: The Lateral Lawyer (NALP Foundation for Research and Education, 2001) with Paula Patton; Perceptions of Partnership (NALP Foundation for Research and Education, 1999) with Paula Patton; Keeping the Keepers: Strategies for Associate Retention (NALP Foundation for Research and Education, 1998) with Paula Patton; Fair Measure: Toward Effective Attorney Evaluations (American Bar Association Commission on Women and the Profession, 1997) with Jeanne Svikhart; and "Gender and the Profession: The Search for Equal Access," Georgetown University Journal of Legal Ethics (summer 1990).
She has served as president of the National Association for Law Placement, Chair of the NALP Research and Education Foundation, and as a member of the executive coordinating committee for After the JD, an unprecedented national longitudinal study of lawyer careers. In 2000 she received the NALP Mark of Distinction Award for lifetime service to the profession. Dean Willard is the proud mother of three daughters (Micah, Sabra, and Elissa) and lives in Evanston with her husband, John Sebert.
Lois Casaleggi graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1994 and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences (psychology) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining the OCS staff, she worked at the University of Illinois College of Law where she was the Assistant Dean for Career Services and, previously, the Director for Career Services. Before moving to academia, Ms. Casaleggi was an attorney in Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy's Washington, D.C. office for two years after working for five years as a litigator with Anderson Kill Olick & Oshinsky (later Dickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky). She also served as a volunteer attorney for Legal Counsel for the Elderly and Whitman-Walker Clinic Legal Services. Lois has been a member of NALP, The Association for Legal Career Professionals, since 2001 and has served on many NALP committees and task forces, including the Long-Range Strategic Planning Committee, the By-Laws Committee, and the Leadership Development Task Force. She recently completed a two-year term on the NALP Board of Directors and is currently chairing the Legislative and Regulatory Reporting Task Force.
Lois is an avid reader, runs half marathons very slowly, and loves spending time with her husband and their son.
Susan J. Curry received her law degree from the University of Notre Dame School of Law in 1989, and her master’s degree in public policy from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs in 1997. She began her legal career in Chicago as an associate of the law firm of Gardner, Carton & Douglas. After moving to the nonprofit sector in 1990, she worked at several public interest law agencies including the Better Government Association, the Illinois Guardianship & Advocacy Commission, and the AIDS Legal Council of Chicago, where she served as the Executive Director. From 1995 through 2002, while living in Minnesota, she served as Executive Director of the Minnesota Justice Foundation, and then, upon returning to Chicago, spent six years as the Executive Director of the Public Interest Law Initiative of Chicago (PILI).
Some of her recent publications include: Meeting the Need: Minnesota’s Collaborative Model to Deliver Law Student Public Service, 28 WILLIAM MITCHELL LAW REVIEW (2001); “Lessons Learned from the Legal Services for Women Initiative,” THE MCKNIGHT FOUNDATION, Minneapolis MN (April 2002); “Family Violence: Community Responses to Domestic Violence & Child Maltreatment,” THE MCKNIGHT FOUNDATION, Minneapolis MN (January, 2003); Rural Pro Bono Delivery: A Guide to Pro Bono Legal Services in Rural Areas, The American Bar Association, ISBN 1-59031-269-4 (2003); and “Cultivating your Public Interest Legal Career,” Illinois Po Bono Illinois Legal Aid Online (July 2008)
Admitted to practice in both Illinois and Minnesota, Susan was recognized in 2009 for Outstanding Achievements in Public Service by Loyola University of Chicago School of Law. She has served as Chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Legal Aid Committee, and currently sits on the Board of Directors of Illinois Legal Aid Online and other public interest organizations and committees in Chicago.
Paul Woo has been active in career services administration and counseling at the Law School for more than thirty years. He works with students, employers, and office staff in every phase of the on-campus recruitment process, administers our Web based database management system, and advises students about the legal job search and career planning. Through the years, Paul has served the National Association for Legal Career Professionals in a variety of capacities, serving twice as a member of the Board of Directors, (nee National Advisory Board), and past member and Chair of both the By-Laws Committee and the Technology Resources Committee. He has been a panelist or speaker at a number of association meetings over the years, speaking on matters ranging from on-campus recruitment to database management topics. Paul holds an undergraduate degree from Purdue University and graduate degrees from The University of Chicago, and The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Paul resides in Hyde Park with his wife Melanie Kersey and their son Jeremy.
Aican Nguyen received her jurist diploma from Kishinev State University in Moldova and her LL.M from Harvard Law School. Prior to joining the University of Chicago Law School in September 2012, Aican worked as a lawyer for different institutions, including the Vietnamese government, Harvard Institute for International Development, and the United Nations Development Program.
Susan Staab received a Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs-Public Policy from Indiana University and worked a number of years before returning to school for her MBA in Human Resources from Keller Graduate School of Management. Susan began her career as an Operations Manager for Junior Achievement of Chicago and transitioned into higher education after realizing her passion for student service. Prior to joining the Law School, she served as Director of Administration at Robert Morris College, a non-profit institution focused on applied education, where her responsibilities included managing student service departments including career services. Weather permitting, Susan likes to spend her free time on the golf course with her husband. Although she resides on the north side of Chicago, she remains a loyal White Sox fan.
Rachel Jennings earned her law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law and her Bachelor of Arts in History from Northwestern University. Prior to joining the Law School, Rachel was Director of Career Services and Recruitment Programs at Chicago-Kent College of Law, where she oversaw and managed all aspects of Chicago-Kent’s Fall On-Campus Interview Program. Before working in legal career services, Rachel practiced law in Chicago as a commercial litigation associate at Vedder Price, where she focused particularly on Securities Litigation and Government Enforcement and Special Investigations. Rachel is a member of the Illinois Bar, and she is a past president of the Chicago Area Law School Consortium (CALSC). In her free time, Rachel enjoys horseback riding, running, and spending time with her husband and young children.
Mindy Finnigan graduated from Indiana University – Maurer School of Law in 2002 and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work from the University of Iowa in 1999. After graduating from law school, Mindy clerked for the Honorable Richard L. Young in the Southern District of Indiana before coming to Chicago to enter private practice as a litigation associate. For the past several years, Mindy practiced at Faegre Baker Daniels in the product liability group focusing on the defense of product manufacturers in courts across the country. Mindy is an avid sports fan and enjoys spending most of her free time with her husband and two sons.
Nura Maznavi is a graduate of The George Washington University Law School and Pomona College. Nura joins the law school from the Center for Pro Bono at the American Bar Association (ABA), where she provided support and assistance to pro bono programs and law schools nationwide. Prior to the ABA, Nura worked on civil rights issues in San Francisco; she was an associate at the law firm Rosen, Bien, Galvan & Grunfeld LLP and led the Program to End Racial and Religious Profiling at the non-profit Muslim Advocates. Nura was a staff attorney for the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and a Fulbright Scholar in Sri Lanka. Nura enjoys writing and has edited two non-fiction anthologies. She lives in Kenwood with her husband and two daughters.
Jessica Chiarella earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from DePaul University. She also holds an MA in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Riverside. When she’s not at work, she’s probably writing.
Campus Mailing Address: LBQ306
The University of Chicago Law School
The Herbert B. Fried Office of Career Services
1111 E. 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637