Career Center directory - Mondale Hall terrace

Career Center Staff

Claudia Melo

Assistant Dean of Career Services

Make an appointment with Claudia by going to the online scheduler.

Career Center Assistant Dean Claudia Melo is passionate about the Career Center team and leading the Career Center’s engagement with students in a meaningful, mission-driven, and purposeful way.  She oversees the Law School's compliance with all employment reporting requirements including the ABA, NALP, and U.S. News & World Report. 

Before joining the University of Minnesota Law School in 2010, she served as a Senior Career Counselor and LLM Advisor at the Cardozo School of Law in New York City, and as a Career Coach at the Carlson School of Management.  Melo has significant experience working with a diverse range of individuals, from executives to young professionals, and supporting students navigate transition, develop their professional identities, and achieve their goals. 

Melo draws from her law school experiential experience at the Massachusetts Supreme Court, The Gillette Company, Mintz, and the Children’s Law Center.  As an attorney, Melo practiced employment law and litigation in the Boston office of Mintz, and as a staff attorney at the Youth Advocacy Center of Covenant House in Newark, New Jersey.  Melo is retired from the practice of law in Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey.

Melo holds a law degree from the Northeastern University School of Law, and a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Brown University.  

Robert Borchardt

Robert Borchardt

Associate Director, Employer Relations

Rob is a graduate of Iowa State University where he earned his B.S. in Psychology, and St. Mary's University where he earned his M.A. in Education Leadership. Prior to joining the Career Center, Rob worked at Dunwoody College for 13 years, serving most recently as the Director of Student Life and Career Services and chairing their Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. Rob has served on the board of the Minnesota Career Development Association and has a broad range of higher education experience including Career Services, Student Affairs, and Recruitment. Rob works with local and national employers seeking to hire Law School students, works to develop strategic partnerships and grow the Law School's Corporate Fellowship program.

Wendy Griak

Associate Director of Counseling Initiatives

Make an appointment with Wendy by going to the online scheduler.

Wendy works with students on all aspects of their career planning. Through individualized career counseling, she helps students strengthen their application documents, hone their networking skills, develop interview responses, and create a proactive job search strategy.

Prior to joining the Career Center, Wendy worked as a senior career counselor at Capella University for five years. She is an active member of several professional associations and organizations related to the field of career counseling. Her previous work history includes experience in graphic design, marketing, and film production. Wendy earned her B.A. from Gustavus Adolphus College and her M.A. in counseling and psychological services from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, where she completed a yearlong practicum in the Gustavus Counseling Center and discovered her passion for working with college students.

Ruth Isaacson

Ruth Isaacson

Assistant Director of Public Interest

In addition to being a career counseling generalist, Ruth advises students who are interested in public interest/public service work. She also develops and oversees programs that educate students on the wealth of public interest/public service opportunities that exist, both locally and nationwide.

She gained her expertise from practicing law in both the Bay Area and Minnesota (at small and mid-sized firms), running a non-profit organization in San Francisco, and working in business development within the Twin Cities legal community. Ruth received her B.A. in Sociology from the College of Wooster in Ohio and her J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law.

Joy Wang, Career Counselor

Joy Wang ’16

Career Counselor/Judicial Clerkship Advisor

Joy advises students and alumni seeking judicial clerkships and administers the judicial externship program. She received her B.A. from Denison University and her J.D. and M.P.H. through the Joint Degree program at the University of Minnesota. She clerked for the Honorable Natalie E. Hudson on the Minnesota Supreme Court from 2016 to 2017, and practiced trademark and copyright law for four years as an Associate Attorney in Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, serving as the Vice Chair of the firm’s Minority Lawyers Network in 2021. Joy is currently the Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Justice Foundation, and a pro bono attorney for asylum applicants through the Advocates for Human Rights.

Jessie Birschbach

Jessie Birschbach

Career Counselor

Jessie is an alum of the University of Minnesota, having received both her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the U. Recently, she earned her M.A. in Educational Psychology within the Counselor Education Program where she focused on higher education populations specifically. She has a background in the medical field and administration, as well as career counseling and advising UMN students within competitive STEM fields as of late. Jessie combines a variety of approaches to have transparent conversations that not only recognize the environments students navigate but how to preserve students' energies as they continue to work towards their career goals.

T. Corbin Conliffe

T. Corbin Conliffe

Recruiting and Diversity Coordinator

T.Corbin is a graduate of Hamline University, where he earned his B.A in Legal Studies, and minored in Philosophy and Spanish while also getting his paralegal certification. Prior to joining the Career Center, T.Corbin served for four years as an Admission Counselor at his alma mater. He has also worked in immigration as a Paralegal, Operations Specialist for the Target Corporation, and Translation for the YMCA. In his position, T.Corbin collaborates with Rob Borchardt with local and national employers seeking to hire our students as well as bring awareness of diversity, equity, and inclusion events both at the Law School and in local and national markets.

Hlsinra Xiong

Hlisnra Xiong

Career Center Executive Assistant

Hlisnra (lean-da) recently joined the Career Center team as our new Executive Assistant and will provide administrative support for the Career Center. Before joining the Career Center, she worked at the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and managed career-readiness programs for prospective college students at Saint Paul Urban Tennis. Hlisnra received her B.S. from the University of Minnesota under the President's Emerging Scholars Program. She continues to be dedicated to supporting students through the Career Center and serving various internal and external groups.