News - Capital University Law School

Incoming 1Ls, Meet Your Professors: Jessica Branner Hittle

6/14/2021  -  Jessica Branner Hittle, L’13, joined the faculty in 2020 as a professor of legal analysis, research, and writing. In addition to teaching, Hittle is a Title IX Investigator, focusing on investigations of sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. Prior to teaching, Hittle served as a prosecutor for the City of Athens, Ohio, trying several cases and arguing appeals before the Fourth District Court of Appeals. She was also an associate at Bricker & Eckler LLP, where she practiced commercial litigation and creditors’ rights and bankruptcy. Hittle graduated from Capital University Law School in 2013 as the class valedictorian. She is a former president of the Athens County Bar Association and was recently appointed to the OSBA Certified Grievance Committee. Hittle was on the varsity team of her college’s equestrian team. She still rides and finds time to do CrossFit and yoga. Hittle is an Athens native and now lives in Clintonville with her husband.

AS A PROFESSOR

What do you teach?
I teach Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing. In this course, we start to develop those critical analyzing and researching skills that will ultimately make you successful as an attorney.

What legal issue fascinates you and why?
I have always been fascinated with Fourth Amendment search and seizure issues. As a law student, my moot court problem was on this topic. As a prosecutor, I got to litigate Fourth Amendment issues at suppression hearings. The Fourth Amendment is particularly fascinating as our “papers and effects” become more electronic by the day.

AS A LAW STUDENT

Where did you attend law school?
I attended Capital University Law School as a full-time day student from 2010-2013.

What was your scariest moment in law school?
My scariest moment was getting called on for the first time in class as a 1L. I survived it and you’ll survive it, too!

What was your proudest moment in law school?
My proudest moment in law school was being my class’ valedictorian and having the honor of delivering a commencement speech.

What do you know now that you wish you had known in law school?
The sooner I stopped comparing myself to my classmates, the quicker I could focus on what I could do to be the best version of myself.

ADVICE FOR LAW STUDENTS

What advice do you have for students after their first year?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. My classmates honored me as a 3L with the award of being the person who asked the most questions in law school! Someone else has your question too -- you’ll just be the one brave enough to ask it.

What is the most common mistake upper-level students make?
Time management. Time management isn’t an upper-level student issue, it’s a human issue. Figure it out early and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

What is the most inspiring student story you have encountered in your career?
When I was in law school, I knew a student whose parents were immigrants and she was the first person in her family to go to college, let alone law school. She nearly failed out her first semester, but I saw her dig in and work harder than ever. She’s now licensed to practice in three states and is a successful attorney in New York City.

YOUR FAVORITES

What is your favorite book?
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai. Reading it is fun, but the audiobook is read by the author and is a real treat to hear it in his voice.

What is your favorite movie?
Last of the Mohicans or My Cousin Vinny. I actually got introduced to My Cousin Vinny in my evidence class by Professor Cordray!

What is your favorite local restaurant?

Lindey’s for the patio and Northstar Café for the burger and pancakes

What is your favorite “undiscovered gem” in Columbus or nearby?

Everyone usually knows about the Franklin Park Conservatory, but some people don’t know about the beautiful grounds surrounding it. They’re free and some of the most beautiful gardens in Columbus.

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