Distinguished Mentor Award | Danielle Hall
Danielle M. Hall serves as a Deputy Disciplinary Administrator for the State of Kansas, where she investigates and prosecutes lawyer misconduct and serves as a coordinator for the attorney diversion and law practice management programs. Her primary focus, however, is in mentoring lawyers and assisting them with implementing best practices and improving their law practice management and technology skills to better serve clients and prevent misconduct. Prior to joining the Office of the Disciplinary Administrator, Danielle served as the Law Practice Services Director for the Kansas Bar Association. In 2011, she spearheaded the development of the organization’s Law Office Management Assistance Program. Through the program, she educated lawyers on the use of technology and running a business.
In her free time, Danielle serves as an adjunct professor at her alma maters, Washburn University and Washburn School of Law. She has served as a faculty member for the law school’s Intensive Trial Advocacy Program since 2010, and she also teaches Law Office Technology in the Legal Studies Department at Washburn University. In addition to her teaching duties, she coaches the trial advocacy competition teams at Washburn Law and runs Washburn University’s mock trial program. During her tenure she has coached and mentored over one hundred students. In 2016, she coached the law school voir dire team to a national championship and in 2017 a national runner-up finish. The best thing about coaching for her is not about the winning, however, but the opportunities she gets to work directly with students and mentoring them during through their journey to becoming professionals.
Danielle regularly speaks on law practice management, ethics, and technology topics for local and national organizations. She currently serves as the Topeka Bar Association Technology Committee Chair, the Kansas Women Attorneys Association Minority Women in the Profession Committee Co-Chair, and is a regular contributor to the Kansas Bar Association Law Practice Management & Technology Blog. She is also an active member in the ABA Law Practice Division, having served on several committees. In 2014, She was awarded the Kansas Bar Association Outstanding Young Lawyer award for her work in the area of law practice management.
Danielle received her Bachelor of Arts in 2006 and her Juris Doctor in 2009, all from Washburn University.
Q&A with TK Business
TK: Who has had a tremendous impact on you? How did this person impact your life?
DANIELLE: My great grandmother had a tremendous impact on me. She took a risk and immigrated to this country when she was just a teenager and didn’t know any English. Hearing this story growing up taught me courage. She was a strong and caring woman, and she was also active in the community, including being a charter member of LULAC. This taught me the importance of getting involved. As a child I would go over to her house and she would always let me know that I could do anything; that I could accomplish anything. On those days that I don’t want to get out of bed or tackle obstacles, I think about her. I especially think about her doing her exercises EVERY day, even at 102. This reminds me that there are no excuses, and to just get up and do great things.
TK: What inspires you?
DANIELLE: The impact something can have is what inspires me most. Every day I try to wake up and think about what impact I want to have and that motivates me to take on challenges, make changes, and take risks.
TK: What drives your commitment to Mentoring?
DANIELLE: It is important to me to pay it forward and to help others, because there have been so many people that have mentored me along the way. Also, there is nothing that can match how proud and motivated you become in that moment as a mentor when you see your mentee accomplish a goal and you see how excited they are. Those moments of accomplishment for your mentees make every moment spent mentoring worthwhile and inspire you to continue.
TK: What advice do you have for others?
DANIELLE: Be confident in yourself. You are the one that knows what you can do and what you can accomplish, so you should never give up, don’t let others discourage you, and certainly don’t discourage yourself.
TK: Who would play you in the movie of your life?
DANIELLE: Jennifer Lopez. She is such a strong successful Latina who encourages and inspires young girls and women to follow their dreams and to never give up, which is something I strive to do as well.