Professor David Hall
Distinguished Alumnus 2006
The University of Oklahoma Department of Human Relations
David Hall returned to the faculty at Northeastern School of Law after a distinguished career as an administrator in the law school and the University. He was appointed Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Northeastern University in July of 1998 and served in that capacity until July 2002. During his tenure as the chief academic officer for Northeastern he oversaw the significant growth in the University’s external research funding, retention rate, and the overall academic standing. He was also responsible for managing the University’s transition from the quarter to semester system. His two major contributions were in the area of diversity and Practice Oriented Education. Through his leadership of these key initiatives Northeastern made tremendous strides in becoming national leaders in two of its fundamental educational values. Before being appointed as Provost, he served as Dean of Northeastern Law School from 1993 to 1998. His top priority as dean of the Law School was improving legal education and the ethical standards of the profession. Stressing the School of Law’s hallmarks—academic excellence, experiential learning, ethical responsibility and social justice—David Hall called upon all law schools to be places “where the values and spiritual foundations of future lawyers are nurtured, challenged and systematically emphasized.”
In December of 1995, the Wall Street Journal published a page one article on Northeastern University School of Law and former Dean Hall. The article quoted Harvard Law Professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., who said that David Hall is “one of the most important leaders in legal education today.” A course on leadership and professional fulfillment, which he jointly developed with the law firm of Hale and Dorr, was featured in U.S. News and World Report.
A vivid example of David Hall’s leadership during his deanship was the establishment in 1995 of Northeastern’s Urban Law and Public Policy Institute, an applied research center and information clearinghouse. Working to bridge the often-alienated worlds of law and the inner city, the institute brings together community activists, government representatives and academicians to develop solutions to seemingly intractable urban dilemmas. With a $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Urban Community Service Program, the institute worked with local community groups on inner city revitalization and violence prevention programs.
David Hall served as associate dean of academic affairs for the School of Law from 1988 to 1992. He taught at the law schools of the University of Mississippi and the University of Oklahoma prior to his appointment at Northeastern, and practiced with the Federal Trade Commission in Chicago before entering academia. He has taught courses in contracts, bankruptcy, sales, constitutional law and civil rights, and his publications include works on civil rights, the constitution and race, legal education, and social justice. He has authored a book on the intersection of law and spirituality, entitled The Spiritual Revitalization of the Legal Profession: A Search for Sacred Rivers, published by the Edwin Mellen Press.
Born in Savannah, Georgia, David Hall holds both a doctorate of juridical science and a LL.M. from Harvard Law School. He received his J.D. from the University of Oklahoma in 1978, where he was also awarded a master’s degree in human relations. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University in 1972. Named an “all American” at Kansas State for both his athletic abilities in basketball and his scholarly accomplishments, David Hall played professionally in Italy for two years.
David Hall lectures nationally on topics of social justice, leadership, diversity and spiritual values in professional life. He also conducts workshops on diversity for law firms, governmental organizations, educational institutions and legal collectives like the Boston Lawyers Group. He serves as a member of the boards of directors for numerous organizations, including Children Services of Roxbury, Educational Development Center and YMCA Black Achievers. In 1993, David Hall received the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Outstanding Contribution to the Legal Profession Award. He has also been honored by the Boston Bar Association and other community-based organizations. In 1997, he was named Outstanding Dean of the Year by the National Association of Public Interest Lawyers. In 1999, he received the National Conference of Community and Justice Humanitarian Award. President George Bush appointed Professor Hall in 2003 to serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the Legal Services Corporation.
David is married to Marilyn Braithwaite-Hall, and is the father of three children: Rahsaan, Sakile, and Kiamsha.