Page History

Choose an Area to Edit

Current Left Navigation Widgets

Current Page Widgets

Choose the Number of Areas for This Page

NOTE: Reducing the number of areas will permanently delete any content and widgets in the removed area(s).

Area Positions

  • Area 1 is the main column for the page
  • Area 2 appears to the right of area 1
  • Area 3 appears under area 1

Robert Birrenkott

Robert Birrenkott
Assistant Dean for Career Development

Maria Mangano

Maria Mangano
Director of Career Development
J.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; M.A., Duke University; B.A. (with highest distinction), University of Virginia

Counseling Focus: Law Firms (Litigation/Appellate), Judicial Clerkships, Diversity

Drop-In hours: Wednesdays, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Maria joined the CDO in January 2005. She counsels students and alumni on all aspects of job searching and career development. She is especially interested in working with students who plan to work in small and medium sized firms in North Carolina, students considering judicial clerkships, women's career issues, and working with those who are members of groups historically underrepresented in the legal profession.

Since graduating from Carolina Law in 1982, Maria has served as a staff attorney at the North Carolina Court of Appeals, practiced with small firms in Raleigh and Durham, and worked at Duke Law School in the Office of Career Services and on the faculty as a Legal Writing instructor. She is a past president of the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, was on the Board of Directors of NC LEAF from 2005-2012, served on the board of the North Carolina Gay Advocacy Legal Alliance, and is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association's Minorities in the Profession Committee. In 2008-2009 she co-chaired that committee's Summer Associates Program subcommittee. She is a member of the Susie Sharp Inn of Court and served as President of the Inn from 2011-2013. She and her husband, Durham attorney Dan Read '83, have two children, both of whom graduated from Chapel Hill.

Giovonni Wade

Giovonni Wade
Director of Diversity Initiatives

April Giancola

April Giancola
Director of Public Interest Advising
J.D., New England School of Law (2000); B.S., Communications, Emerson College (1993)

Counseling Focus: Public Interest (Advocacy/Litigation), Government, Pro Bono

Walk-In Hours: Tuesdays, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

April joined the CDO in April 2016. She counsels students and alumni on all aspects of job searching and career development, with a particular interest in issues relating to public interest, government and pro bono.

Since earning her J.D. from New England School of Law in Boston in 2000, April has worked as a trial attorney at the Public Defender’s Office in Phoenix, as the Director of Legal Services at Our Place DC in Washington, DC, and as the Volunteer and Training Coordinator at the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center. After moving to North Carolina in 2007, she was the Post-Conviction Managing Attorney for North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services and served as the Chief Legal Program Officer for Disability Rights NC. She has been active in the Pro Bono Activities Committees of both the NC Bar Association and the NC Equal Access to Justice Commission. She is admitted to the bars of Arizona, Massachusetts, the District of Columbia and North Carolina.

Shawn McKenna

Shawn McKenna
Director of Employer Outreach
J.D., George Washington University; B.S., Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University

Counseling Focus: Law Firms (Litigation/Transactional), Public Interest, Judicial Clerkships, LGBT, Diversity

Walk-In Hours: Fridays, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Shawn spent fifteen years in Washington, DC, prior to moving to North Carolina in 2008. He came to Carolina Law's Career Development Office in 2010 and serves as the Director of Employer Outreach. In addition to counseling students, he focuses on cultivating, establishing, expanding, and maintaining relationships with legal employers and helping facilitate employment opportunities for UNC School of Law students and alumni.

Upon graduation from law school, Shawn served as the judicial law clerk for the Honorable Melvin R. Wright, Associate Judge for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He then worked for a small Washington, DC, real estate firm before working for First American Title Insurance Company where he assisted clients with the creation and conversion of condominium projects and residential and commercial transactions. After his move to North Carolina, Shawn practiced with Legal Aid of North Carolina as a staff attorney in the Durham office. From there he accepted a position as Director of Legal Recruitment with the Career Services Office of the North Carolina Central University School of Law. He is admitted to the bars of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and North Carolina.

Laura Sloan

Laura Sloan
Director of Judicial Clerkships
J.D. (high honors), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; B.S., Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Walk-In Hours:  Thursdays, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Laura joined the CDO in January 2019.  She counsels students and alumni on all aspects of job searching and career development, with a particular interest in judicial clerkships and positions in large law firms.

After law school, Laura served as a law clerk for the Honorable Sarah Parker of the Supreme Court of North Carolina and the Honorable Karen K. Caldwell of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.  Following her clerkships, she practiced in white collar defense and investigations at Covington & Burling LLP in Washington, DC.  Since moving back to North Carolina in 2017, she has worked as a litigator at Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP in Raleigh and as a staff attorney at the North Carolina Court of Appeals.  She is admitted to the bars of North Carolina and the District of Columbia.

Laina Balafas

Laina Balafas
Recruitment Manager
B.A., Journalism and Mass Communications, University of South Carolina at Columbia

Laina joined the Career Development Office in October 2016. She works with students and employers to manage the recruiting process through our on-campus and off-campus interview programs and ensures students are kept aware of positions available through the Job Bank in Symplicity.

Prior to joining the CDO, Laina worked in the private country club industry, where she focused on membership recruitment and marketing. She is a Chapel Hill native and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications, with a major in Public Relations at the University of South Carolina.

Jennifer De la Rosa

Jennifer De la Rosa
Career Development Office Coordinator
B.A., Geography (Highest Honors), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2013)

Jennifer joined the Career Development Office in March 2016. She worked for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools providing administrative support for two departments, and after graduating from UNC as a non-traditional student, she worked as an Executive Assistant for the Energy Frontier Research Center in the Chemistry Department. Jennifer facilitates student access to CDO services and Career Counselors, provides general office support and programming logistics.
UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106 | Accessibility

If you are seeing this, you are either using a non-graphical browser or Netscape 4.x (4.7, 4.8, etc.) and this page appears very plain. If you are using a 4.x version of Netscape, this site is fully functional but lacks styles and optimizations available in other browsers. For full functionality, please upgrade your browser to the latest version of Internet Explorer or Firefox.