Hardin and others honored during Nashville School of Law Event
Hal Hardin, a former Davidson County Circuit Court Judge and United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, will receive the Distinguished Faculty Award from the Nashville School of Law (NSL) in recognition of the effectiveness of his work in the classroom.
He has taught courses in criminal procedure and federal sentencing at NSL for more than a decade. Hardin, who has earned a position as one of the top attorneys in Tennessee though his decades-long practice in the areas of criminal, civil and corporate litigation, also made an impact on the state outside of the courtroom when his actions set up the ouster of then governor Ray Blanton and the resulting early swearing in of Lamar Alexander.
In the early years, Hardin who left Tennessee to attend George Washington University, eventually moved away from the university classroom to enter the Peace Corps. He went to Colombia, a village on the Magdalena River. While in Colombia he helped villagers form cooperatives that empowered impoverished farmers to made decisions collectively, without the interference of middle men. He also built latrines and showed villagers ways to construct better roofs and buildings, many of which still remain fifty years later.
When he returned to Tennessee he completed his undergraduate degree at Middle Tennessee State University before working for John Jay Hooker, Jr.’s gubernatorial run. Though Hooker lost the election, Hardin stayed on as his assistant.
Over the years Hardin has held a variety of positions; from working in the District Attorney’s Office for a year, to entering a private practice that took shape upon renting an office in Jack Norman’s Nashville law firm, to a position with the St. Louis Job Corps Center for Women.
Hardin was later appointed to a Circuit Court seat in 1975, before being nominated by President Carter to be the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. After Carter left office, Hardin returned to his private practice and has since then continued to establish himself as a formidable figure in the Tennessee legal community.
Recently, Hardin took on the cause of John Jay Hooker, Jr.. He helped Hooker in suing the state to obtain the right to death with dignity for Tennesseans. Last November, he was elected president of the Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society.
In the state and city’s legal environment, Hardin ultimately represents the best of the law community as it wrestles with the state’s history, changing economics, and reactions from the general public to new laws and limitations passed on from the federal government and the state.
Other top ranking members of this community will also be honored at the event.
The Nashville School of Law will also honor two graduates, Brenda Franks Hale and Douglas S. Hale, a trailblazer in the legal community, Senior Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, at its 23rd annual Recognition Dinner.
The event, the proceeds from which provide scholarships to deserving students attending NSL, will take place on Friday, June 10 at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville. The reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the dinner following at 7:00 p.m.
The Nashville School of Law’s dinner is one of the most popular social events for Tennessee’s legal community. More than 600 lawyers and judges are expected to attend.
Tickets to the June 10 event can be obtained by contacting Beth McDonald at 615-780-2241.