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Karen Hall

Director of Democratic Governance and Rule of Law LL.M and Associate Professor of Law
Tilton Hall of Law #159
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Karen Hall joined the ONU law faculty as director of the LLM program in Democratic Governance and Rule of Law and as an assistant professor in summer 2015. Hall has expanded the curriculum of the LLM program to include more practical and specialized courses to help prepare students for the realities of working in the rule of law reform field. Prior to joining ONU, Hall served for 10 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. Hall developed programs dealing with institutional development, access to justice, protection of women’s rights and legal education. She spent 2006-08 living at the Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, directly managing the State Department’s criminal justice and corrections programs. 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

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Virginia (inactive)

Teaching Interests: 

Hall’s teaching interests include international rule of law reform, international law, comparative criminal law, rule of law program design and management, student externship courses, 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”
  • U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Leadership Council, March 2017.  “Programming with Flexibility and Creativity in Extreme Circumstances.”  
  • Creative Associates, March 2017.  “Rule of Law 101.”
  • JUSTRAC Interagency Justice Sector Training Program, January 2017.  “Money and Mandates.”
  • Ohio Northern University, Pettit College of Law, Ten Year Anniversary of LL.M. Program, November 2016.  “Rule of Law Implementation.”  
  • Brigham Young University, Pre-Law Association, October 2016.   “Foreign Affairs, International Development, and Rule of Law Reform.”  
  • Brigham Young University—Idaho, Political Science Department, October 2016.  “Afghanistan and U.S. Foreign Policy.”  
  • JUSTRAC Lessons from the Field:  Innovation in Rule of Law Programming Conference, Washington, D.C., June 2016.  “Innovation in Afghanistan.”  
  • Lifelong Learning Program at Ohio State University, Lima, April 2016.  “The U.S. State Department and Foreign Diplomacy.”
  • Faculty Development Program, February 2016.  “Federal Funding and Rule of Law Reform.”  
  • JUSTRAC Enduring Prosperity and the Rule of Law for the Northern Triangle Conference, San Salvador, El Salvador, October 2015. “Creative Solutions for Intractable Problems.”  
  • Law and Society Annual Meeting, Seattle, May 2015. “Legal Education as a Mitigation to Administrative Barriers in Rule of Law Programs” as part of a panel addressing “Situating Legal 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.”
  • 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.”
  • International Development Law Organization, Rome, Italy, October 2010. “Models to Contextualize Justice Assistance: Lessons from Afghanistan.”  
  • “Dodging Silver Bullets: Providing Context to Rule of Law Reform in Post-Conflict Societies.”
  • Presented at Harvard, Stanford, University of Washington, University of Utah, Brigham Young University, Ohio Northern University, New England Law School, etc.
  • INL Contractor Pre-deployment Training.  “Rule of Law Reforms in Context.”  “Police and the Criminal Justice System.”  “Anti-Corruption.”   “Gender and Development.”
  • Pentagon JAG Officer Deployment.  “Afghanistan’s Criminal Justice System and Criminal Procedure Code.”
  • University of South Carolina Interagency Rule of Law Course.  “Gender and the Rule of Law.”
  • JAG School in Charlottesville Virginia.  “The Afghan Justice System and Reform Efforts.”