Brown Retiring, Leaving a Lasting Impression
In the mid-1990s, Vickie Brown had a meeting with former dean and faculty emerita Marjorie Girth and other administrators. It was late on a Friday with mandatory budget cuts swirling, and Brown, who was the program administrator for the Externship and Litigation Programs, expected the worst.
“Naturally, I assumed the meeting was to give me the infamous pink slip as part of downsizing,” Brown said. “Instead, we talked about me becoming the interim director of the Career Planning & Placement Office. I was speechless and stunned!”
Brown had joined Georgia State Law in August 1988 and accepted the interim director position in 1996. On June 30, after 29 years, she retires as the director of the Career Services Office (CSO).
When Brown first started with CSO, legal employers weren’t always eager to hire Georgia State Law students. She helped change that.
“Georgia State Law was the new kid on the block, as the youngest law school in the state,” she said “Invitations for students to meet with employers were not always embraced , and sometimes phone calls were not returned. Well, that is no longer the case! I’m proud to have expanded our employer hiring portfolio and imprint locally and nationally.”
Brown helped gain exposure for Georgia State Law in the legal community through active interaction and outreach with legal employers, by participating in local and state bar associations’ activities and her visible membership in the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), including serving on its board of directors.
“During her tenure, Vickie has taken a small nascent career services program and turned it into a robust operation, which today provides our students with a broad range of services, programs and counseling that enable them to navigate the maze of the legal job market and secure employment,” said Steven J Kaminshine, dean and professor of law, who also steps down on June 30.
“Because of her efforts, she will hand off an office positioned to advance to the next level, an office that has grown, and will grow further, in meeting the challenges posed by the changes we see in legal practice and the legal job market,” Kaminshine said.
For Brown, nothing has been more gratifying than helping students and alumni land their first job or transition into their next position.
“Whether I helped them make industry connections or just served as a compassionate champion when they appeared defeated or fed up with the process, I continuously experienced joy from the fruit of their labor and mine whenever they informed me they secured that hard, sought-after job,” Brown said.
Brown plans to travel during retirement, starting with trips to England and Italy, and taking time to “just breathe.” She says what she’ll miss most is her engagement with so many different types of people.
“I salute and say thanks to the amazing staff members of Georgia State Law and the career services team, present and past. They are incredibly talented, dedicated people who work tirelessly to contribute to the law school’s great success,” Brown said. “And, the faculty here is the best. I’ve worked with my fair share, and it has been a great privilege. I will miss my law school family.”