RUSSELL Z. HETZEL, ESQ.
Russ Hetzel graduated from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration. Before becoming an attorney, he owned a residential construction company, building and renovating all over Georgia. After nearly ten years in construction, Russ decided to pursue his long-standing desire to become a lawyer.
Russ graduated cum laude from Georgia State with recognition from the GSU faculty and Moot Court Board for his oral advocacy skills. He formed his own private practice to serve the residents of metro Atlanta. Russ focuses on criminal defense, providing representation for all types of offenses ranging from serious felonies to misdemeanors. He also handles immigration cases, and select family and civil law matters. Russ is conversant in Spanish, and is supported by a Spanish-speaking staff.
Though he took a nontraditional path to becoming a lawyer, Russ feels his experience as a business owner prepared him well for the legal field. He says, “Throughout my professional career I prided myself on assisting people in addressing complex issues; therefore as an attorney, I view myself as an advisor, an advocate, and—most importantly—a problem solver.”
Russ is a member of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (GACDL) and affiliated with various judicial organizations around the metro area, including the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit, the Forsyth-Bell Judicial Circuit, the Cobb County Bar Association, and the Georgia Bar Association. Russ is admitted to practice in all State Trial Courts, the Georgia Court of Appeals, the Georgia Supreme Court, and the Federal Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
''I view myself as an advisor, an advocate, and—most importantly—a problem solver.''
''Many times my role is to listen to our clients’ fears and help reduce their anxiety by affirming that I am here to help.''
YEISI OLVERA, PARALEGAL
Yeisi Olvera immigrated to Sandy Springs from Mexico City with her family at the age of four. After graduating from Riverwood High School, Yeisi sought various education and work opportunities, only to find her legal status a consistent challenge.
In 2012, Yeisi applied for and received DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) which allowed her to obtain legal work authorization. When Mr. Hetzel’s office was seeking a bilingual receptionist, Yeisi applied for and landed the position. Her warm professionalism and eagerness to learn quickly moved her from receptionist to paralegal. Today she provides translation services, consults with prospective clients, coordinates with courts, and facilitates communication between clients, their family, and Mr. Hetzel.
In her second year with Mr. Hetzel’s firm, Yeisi took on yet another endeavor: obtaining a college degree in psychology at Oglethorpe University, which she completed in 2019. She says, “Whether it is with a criminal case or immigration case, there is always a psychological component at play. Many times my roles is to listen to our clients' fear and help reduce their anxiety by affirming that I am here to help. That is my favorite part of my job--doing what is in my hands to help others going through difficulties.”
Yeisi has since adjusted her status to Legal Permanent Resident, granting her even more opportunities: eligibility for in-state tuition, the freedom to travel, stability for family, and--most importantly--future U.S. citizenship.