News - Capital University Law School

Incoming 1Ls, Meet Your Professors: Halle Hara

7/6/2021  - 

Professor Halle Hara has significant experience teaching law students, having served previously as the full-time Professor and Director of Academic Success at Capital, a Visiting Professor of Legal Research and Writing at Capital, and an Adjunct Skills Professor at the University of Dayton School of Law. She has also mentored new lawyers for ten years through the Ohio Supreme Court Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program. She was honored by the Ohio Supreme Court for her service since the Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program’s inception, and she serves on the Program’s Curriculum Subcommittee. Professor Hara assisted in developing and presenting a substantive orientation for incoming Judicial Law Clerks in the United States District Court and has acted as a long-time supervisor to Judicial Externs.

Professor Hara served as a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Joseph P. Kinneary, the Honorable Donald C. Nugent, the Honorable Terence P. Kemp, and the Honorable Kimberly A. Jolson in the United States District Courts, having previously served as a Judicial Extern for the Honorable R. Guy Cole, Jr. in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the Honorable John M. Manos in the United States District Court. In private practice, Professor Hara was a general business litigation associate at Jones Day and Thompson Hine LLP, both in Cleveland, Ohio.

Professor Hara has a record of academic excellence as highlighted by graduating with Honors from The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law, where she served as the Executive Editor of The Ohio State Law Journal and earned many honors and awards. These include The Ohio State Law Journal Past Editor’s Award, The Ohio State University Board of Trustees Student Recognition Award, the Law Alumni Special Recognition Award, and “Best Oralist” in the Appellate Advocacy Competition. Professor Hara scored in the top 5% of all applicants on the July 1998 Ohio Bar Examination and has an extensive writing a publication history, including volumes of signed Opinions and Orders for the United States Courts and articles written and edited for the Gale Group, part of Cengage Learning.

We asked Professor Hara to to share a few things about herself. Here’s what she told us:


What do you teach? 
I am the Professor and Director of the Academic Success Program, which means that I teach the skills necessary for success in law school and, ultimately, in practice. I do this in collaboration with the faculty, allowing my lessons to be taught against the backdrop of the entire first-year curriculum. I also teach in our Legal Research and Writing program.

What legal issue fascinates you and why?
This is a difficult question for me to answer because most of my career has been spent in the United States District Court, where no two days were the same. I loved the broad spectrum of issues I encountered on a daily basis, requiring me to research and write on a wide variety of unique and interesting legal issues. There was never a dull day.


What was your scariest moment in law school?
When I was called on by my Civil Procedure Professor, Howard P. Fink, during my first semester of law school. It was my largest class and he required you to stand while answering his questions. He questioned me for nearly an hour on Burger King v. Rudzewicz, and it was the longest class of my entire law school career. A close second scariest moment was his final exam, which consisted of 200 true/false questions about civil procedure.

What was your proudest moment in law school?
When The Ohio State University Board of Trustees presented me with the Student Recognition Award. The award is given to just two professional students per year, and Dean Gregory H. Williams had nominated me without my knowledge. 

What do you know now that you wish you had known in law school?
First semester, I underestimated the need to shift my study techniques away from passively reviewing my notes to actively engaging with the material. I also devoted too much time to class preparation instead of focusing on the big picture—mastering the information for use on the final exam.

If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself as a first-year law student? 
You will spend fifteen years entrenched in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (and even enjoy it), so don’t worry about answering questions on Burger King v. Rudzewicz or the 200 true/false questions. Your classmates will forever be your colleagues, and the friendships you are making this year will endure for decades. 


What advice to you have for students after their first year?
Your daily workload improves after first-year because you are that much better at reading and understanding the course material. Use that extra time to make professional relationships and do it in a way that you enjoy, such as volunteering or playing on a local firm’s softball team.


What is your favorite book?
Reading is a great escape for me, so it is typically the last book I’ve read. I just finished Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. It is set where I was raised in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio (and my high school is mentioned several times in the book). An enduring favorite is A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. 

Who is your favorite actor?
Tom Hanks. He has a wonderfully diverse body of work, with A League of Their Own, Catch Me If You Can, and Big among my many favorites. And anyone who can carry forty-five minutes of a movie without speaking to anyone other than a volleyball is genius in my opinion.

For additional professor Q&A articles, see "Meet Your 1L Professors."