Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

Faculty Profile

Danielle Kie Hart

Danielle Kie Hart

Professor of Law

B.A., History and Economics, with honors in History, Whitman College; J.D., University of Hawaii; LL.M., Harvard University; Member, Hawaii State Bar

Courses    Publications

Phone: (213) 738-5720
Office: BW337

Through her experiences in the courts, private practice, the nonprofit sector, and academia, Professor Hart saw clearly "how powerful and pervasive the law is, touching every aspect of peoples' lives." She enjoys sharing this perspective with her students and exploring with them "the possible systemic changes that might be needed in the law."

"[I want students to understand] how powerful and pervasive the law is, touching every aspect of peoples' lives."

Professor Hart began her legal career as a judicial clerk to Chief Justice Herman T.F. Lum and Associate Justice Mario Ramil of the Hawaii Supreme Court where she had a first-hand look at the appellate process and how laws are shaped. She then entered private practice as a commercial litigation associate with the firm of Paul, Johnson, Park & Niles. Her areas of practice included contracts, real property, insurance, construction, and bankruptcy.

A few years later, Professor Hart moved to the nonprofit sector as a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii where she established and supervised the poverty law hotline for senior citizens. At Legal Aid, Professor Hart says, "it became very apparent that many of the people who we helped were going to be repeat clients, because we could only take care of their immediate problems. The only way to affect real change would have to be on a more systemic level."

Professor Hart's next step was to get her masters of law, or LL.M., from Harvard Law School. After graduating, she accepted a visiting teaching position at her alma mater, the University of Hawaii. In 1999, she moved to California to join the Southwestern faculty.

Professor Hart's research has covered a wide range of topics, from procedural reform and the strategic uses of procedure to same-sex marriage. Her current research focuses on contract law–its politics, distributive effects and social consequences. Professor Hart has been a panelist at a number of academic forums, and has served as a member and past Chair of  the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Gay and Lesbian Legal Issues. In January, 2012, Professor Hart was elected to the Executive Committee of the Association of American Schools Section on Contracts. She is also a member of the organizing committee for ClassCrits, a network of scholars and activists interested in critical analysis of law and economic relations.



Introduction, 42 SOUTHWESTERN LAW REVIEW 761 (Symposium Issue, Fall 2013)

Revealing Privilege--Why Bother? 42 WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW & POLICY 131 (2013)

In A Word, 41 SOUTHWESTERN LAW REVIEW 215 (2012)

Contract Law Now - Reality Meets Legal Fictions, 41 UNIVERSITY OF BALTIMORE LAW REVIEW 1 (2011)

Cross Purposes & Unintended Consequences - Karl Llewellyn, Article 2 and the Limits of Social Transformation, 12 NEVADA LAW JOURNAL 54 (2011)

Contract Formation and the Entrenchment of Power, 41 LOYOLA CHICAGO LAW JOURNAL 175 (2009)

And the Chill Goes On - Federal Civil Rights Plaintiffs Beware: Rule 11 Vis-à-vis 28 U.S.C. § 1927 and the Court's Inherent Power, 37 LOYOLA LAW REVIEW 645 (Winter 2004)

Still Chilling After All These Years: Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Its Impact on Federal Civil Rights Plaintiffs After the 1993 Amendments, 37 VALPARAISO UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 1 (Fall 2002)

Same-Sex Marriage Revisited - Taking a Critical Look at Baehr v. Lewin, 9 GEORGE MASON CIVIL RIGHTS LAW JOURNAL 1 (1999)


2010 & 2012, Excellence in Teaching Award Recipient