Michelle Kim Hall, Director of Counseling

Michelle Kim Hall

Academic Background

M.F.A., New York University

J.D., Harvard Law School

B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, summa cum laude

Academic Background

Michelle Kim Hall graduated from Harvard Law School. As a member of the Human Rights Clinic, she traveled to South Africa to conduct field research on prosecuting apartheid-era crimes. The interviews she helped conduct were published in a book that presents perspectives on post-Truth and Reconciliation Commission trails from diverse members of South African society. After practicing law in both California and New York, she went on to earn an MFA in Creative Writing at NYU, where she taught creative and expository writing. At NYU, she was a Starworks Fellow and recipient of the Willy Gorrissen Award for Teaching Excellence. As an undergraduate English major at UCLA, she earned an honors degree in creative writing.

 

Work Experience

As an attorney, Michelle practiced at Morgan Lewis & Bockius. In addition to working on litigation matters, she dedicated her pro bono hours to asylum petitioners, Project Homeless Connect, the Clean Slate Clinic, and the ACLU. In 2011, Michelle joined Stratus, where she helped develop our JD counseling program and continues to provide input on application strategy to individual clients.

What I like most about being a Stratus Law School Admissions Counselor:

I believe that drafting application essays is an inherently valuable process. My goal is not to simply help aspiring lawyers get into their dream schools, but to encourage applicants to reflect on the meaningful moments of their lives and discover surprising connections between diverse experiences.

One piece of advice I would share with someone who is applying to law school:

Applicants should do their research. To find the school that’s the perfect fit, they should take time to learn about the programs they’re considering. It is important to remember that the application demonstrates what an applicant has to offer each school, but they should also know what each school has to offer them.

Highlight or greatest accomplishment while working with Stratus:

Each cycle, I have the privilege of working with so many remarkable people. Helping these applicants tell their stories is rewarding, particularly when a strong application results in acceptances to schools that would most likely have turned a client down. (I helped an applicant with a 167 LSAT and a criminal offense on his record get into Harvard Law.) Often I work with applicants over several years, and I enjoy forming relations over time. One client came to me for guidance on his initial law school application and was admitted to Brooklyn Law with a generous funding package; I then helped him develop a successful transfer application to Georgetown after his 1L year. To see this bright and hardworking student earn a place at a school that had been out of reach for him was a great accomplishment. My proudest moment was when a client told me I had helped him become a better writer. That’s a skill that he can take with him throughout his career.

3 Random Facts:

  • I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and watched the sunrise from Uhuru Peak (19,341 feet).
  • When I was 15, I ran my hometown marathon and came in first place for my age division…probably because I was the only girl in my age division in the race. My time was 4 hours 24 minutes. I have yet to beat it in subsequent races.
  • I graduated college in two years and one quarter while working part-time as a hostess at Chart House and an SAT instructor.

Blogs by Michelle

How to Write the Yale 250: 4 Easy Steps

The Yale 250 is one of my favorite law school essays. The prompt is intentionally open ended. That means the topic you chose to write about says as much about you as content. Combined with the strict (yes, you must adhere to 250) word limit, this brief, open-ended essay is a writing challenge of both

4 Admissions Steps for Aspiring Environmental Lawyers

Tips for Environmental Lawyers The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has spurred discussion about climate change’s role in exacerbating storms and what, if anything, lawmakers can do to stop global warming. If you want to be an environmental lawyer, consider these four steps before applying. But there’s a lot more to the practice of environmental law

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