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Meet Hala Abdeljaber, Editor-In-Chief of the Ohio State Business Law Journal

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Hala Abdeljaber

Hometown: El Paso, Texas

Legal Interests: Commercial Litigation

Education: Bachelor’s, International Politics (University of Texas-El Paso)

After spending most of your life in Texas, what brought you to Moritz?

I applied across the nation, and I went to visit all the schools I got accepted to and when I came to visit Moritz, I just fell in love with the culture and the people. Everyone was very nice and welcoming. I saw that there were a lot of opportunities here at Moritz that I didn’t see at other universities that I had visited.

Was law school always on your radar?

I knew I wanted to attend law school before I even started my undergraduate degree. Through high school, I was always in debate and I was regionally ranked so I loved the idea of politics, policy, and the law. After high school, I structured my undergrad courses very similar to what the pre-law degree plan would look like. I also did a pre-law program at UTEP, which helped me study for the LSAT.

What made you want to pursue the EIC position for the Ohio State Business Law Journal?

My legal interests are specific to business law, but I don’t have a business background. However, I decided that business law was going to give me a different area of practice as well as give me the ability to write in a subject that was really interesting to me. My note ended up getting published – I wrote about trademark law and how it impacts the fashion industry – so it was really on a whim that I decided I wanted to pursue the EIC position. I submitted my letter of interest and I have always been a president or vice president of several organizations throughout high school and undergrad so for me, it just felt natural.

I had an idea of where I wanted to take the journal. I want it to be very member-led organization. I don’t want it to be leader-led. I want everyone to be comfortable in their positions and comfortable in the organization so that way they can also create a better environment for themselves, and they can feel satisfaction in the work they put in.

What are some of your individual strengths that you bring to the EIC position?

I am a lead-by-example leader. I am one of those people that believes people should be the ones that are leading their positions and taking charge. I am not a micro-manager. I have a very hands-off approach. I always tell everyone on my team, ‘just let me know when you need me and I am there for you.’ But I want everyone to be empowered and I want there to be a lot of communication. Communication is extremely important, and for me, it is more important to listen than to speak. I love to hear what everyone wants and what their expectations are.

How did the pandemic effect your plans/vision for the journal?

At first, I thought it would impact in dramatically because my entire staff editing year as a 2L was impacted greatly by the pandemic. It was very difficult to communicate and connect and to be a part of a team in general. I have made it a point to actively create lines of communication for every single individual and make sure that everyone feels they have accessibility to all members of the journal.

On top of that, I have learned that a lot of people are ready to feel something outside of the pandemic parameters. So creating a space for the members, whether it be in the journal suite or just time outside of the virtual space, is important to me. Mental health is a huge priority.

What is your ideal next step after graduation?

This time next year I hope to have passed the bar and I am hoping to be back home in Texas practicing commercial litigation. El Paso specifically is growing exponentially in terms of businesses and corporations that are moving out there so I would love to be a part of that growth. I would love to see my hometown grow exponentially and put El Paso on the map.

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