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Karen Hall

Director of Democratic Governance and Rule of Law LL.M and Assistant Professor of Law
Tilton Hall of Law #
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Professor Karen Hall joined the ONU law faculty as the Director of the LLM program in Democratic Governance and Rule of Law and as an Assistant Professor in summer 2015.  Prior to joining ONU, Professor Hall served for ten years with the U.S. Department of State in its Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.  While there, she directed the development and management of State Department assistance to the criminal justice system in Afghanistan as part of the overall U.S. foreign assistance initiative.  Professor Hall developed programs dealing with institutional development, access to justice, protection of women’s rights, and legal education.  She spent 2006-2008 living at the Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan directly managing the State Department’s criminal justice and corrections programs.  Professor Hall earned multiple Meritorious and Superior Honor Awards from the State Department for her work.  


J.D., Harvard Law School
M.A., Security Studies, Georgetown School of Foreign Service
B.A., Russian, Brigham Young University, magna cum laude

Bar Admissions: 

Virginia (innactive)

Teaching Interests: 

Professor Hall’s teaching interests include International Rule of Law Reform, International Law, Comparative Law, and Introduction to the American Legal System.  Her current research involves examining the consequences of the appropriations and administrative processes of the U.S. government in relation to rule of law reform worldwide.  She is also writing about lessons learned from rule of law reform efforts in Afghanistan.

Faculty Activities

▪Dipnote (blog):  “At Work in INL: Promoting Human Rights and Accountability in Afghanistan”

  • Law and Society Annual Meeting, Seattle, May 2015.  “Legal Education Programs as a Mitigation to Administrative Barriers in Rule of Law Programs” as part of panel addressing “Situating Legal Education Reform Efforts in Rule of Law Promotion.” 
  • United States Institute of Peace practitioners guide launch, March 2015.  “How to Ensure Project Sustainability.” 
  • Washington University Law School, April 2014.  “Rule of Law, Criminal Justice, and the United States in Afghanistan.” 
  • United States Institute of Peace justice reform guides launch, February 2014. “Justice Sector Resources and Toolkits: Data Driven Reform.”
  • Washington and Lee and University of Liberia, October 2013. “Anti-Corruption and Rule of Law Development.” 
  • United States Institute of Peace special course for Libyan Civil Society, July 2013. “Assessing Criminal Justice Systems and Designing Development Projects.” 
  • Law and Society Annual Meeting, Boston, May 2013. “Rule of Law Reform: Noble Pursuit or Fool’s Errand?”
  • Georgetown University, Center for Security Studies, April 2013.  “Afghanistan 2014 and Beyond:  The Importance of Rule of Law and Counternarcotics Efforts in Helping Build a Secure and Stable Nation.” 
  • Stanford Law School, November 2012.  “Rule of Law in Afghanistan.” 
  • United States Institute of Peace book launch Customary Justice and the Rule of Law in War-Torn Societies, Washington, D.C., January 2012. Respondent. “Reconceptualizing Rule of Law Reform.”
  • University of Washington School of Law Conference Learning from Tradition: Tribal Justice and the Rule of Law, Seattle, Washington, June 2011. “Customary Justice in Afghanistan.”
  • Harvard Law School, April 2011.  “International Justice Assistance.”
  • Brigham Young University School of Law, February 2011.  “Careers in Justice Reform.” 
  • International Development Law Organization, Rome, Italy, October 2010. “Models to Contextualize Justice Assistance: Lessons from Afghanistan.” 
  • Rule of Law Collaborative—University of South Carolina, May 2010. “Rule of Law in Afghanistan—Lessons Learned.” 
  • United States Institute of Peace—A Meeting of the Security Sector Reform Working Group, May 2009. “Policing Afghanistan.”