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Laura Welch appointed court administrator for Athens-Clarke County

Superior Court Judge Eric Norris has named Laura Welch as the next Court Administrator. Welch most recently served as the Interim Director of the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government’s Human Resources Department.

"Laura has demonstrated the initiative and broad understanding of both the courts and our local government structure and appreciates the unique role that our courts play in serving our community," says Judge Norris. "My fellow judges and I believe she will continue the strong partnership that the courts have with both the county government and Commission to administer justice in Athens fairly and effectively."

"I’m thrilled to return to the courts where I feel that my experience working in Human Resources with the entire ACCGov organization will be put to good use," says Welch. "I look forward to working again with our dedicated judges and court staff. Throughout my career, I have valued the importance of ensuring that our courts are open, accessible, and available to meet the needs of our community.”

Welch is expected to start in her new position on April 29. She takes over the position formerly held by Elisa Zarate, who became the Clerk of Court of Clarke County after a special election in the fall after the retirement of the previous clerk.

Welch has served as the Assistant Director of ACCGov Human Resources since 2017 where she directed all human resource operations for the ACCGov workforce of approximately 1,700 full-time and 400 part-time positions. Prior to her role in HR, Welch was the Court Administrator for the courts of Athens-Clarke County from 2012-2017, a management analyst in the Operational Analysis Office for a total of five years, and a middle school teacher for four years.

With Welch's appointment as Court Administrator, Athens-Clarke County Manager Blaine Williams has named Lori Pollock as Interim Human Resources Director while a national search continues for a permanent director. Pollock has served as Employment and Employee Relations Administrator since 2016.

The courts of Athens-Clarke County include the Municipal Court, State Court, Magistrate Court, Juvenile Court, Probate Court and Superior Court. The Court Administrator serves as the court’s senior departmental official and acts as a liaison the other branches of government and supports the courts’ various programs and services including accountability courts, law library, probation and more. For more information on the courts of Athens-Clarke County, visit


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