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Get to Know the Faculty: Dr. Hans J. Hacker


Dr. Hans J. Hacker serves as pre-law adviser to the department, college and university. He is the faculty co-sponsor of the ASU Pre-Law Club, and co-director of the Pre-Law Center, a college-level pre-professional advising center. Let's get to know him.

Dr. Hans J. Hacker

Dr. Hans J. Hacker

Place of birth?
Manhattan, New York City, NY (but, I grew up in Austin, Texas)
Why did you choose A-State?
In 2007, A State wanted a regionally and nationally prominent pre-law program and competitive moot court team. At my previous institution, I had coached nationally-ranked teams during the previous four years. So, I was invited to apply because of that success. It seemed like a perfect storm of opportunity–the students were primed for competing, the administration offered the kind of resources you need to develop a program, and I was ready for a new challenge. The things we did in the first five years were exceptional. I was happy I made the decision to come to a place where going above and beyond for student success was so valued.
What music is playing in your car?
Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Sky is Crying
What is your favorite podcast?
Selected Shorts, Public Radio International
Who was your favorite teacher (and why)?
My Constitutional Law professor, Dr. Kenyon Bunch, held my feet to the flames every day in class. He just wouldn’t put up with bad thinking. I learned from him to think critically and defend a position. He retired several years ago, and remains a close friend to this day.
The best advice I ever received was...
"Dude, marry that girl! She’s the best thing that ever happened to you."
What makes for a good student?
A good student is intellectually curious. The best ones have an insatiable desire to know. They read everything. They call me out about everything in class. My best students end up becoming my peers. We argue and discuss in class, we go get coffee and talk some more. I may introduce them to new ideas, but they do the same for me.
My favorite motion picture is...
Stranger Than Fiction.
The television series I must TiVo...
Parks and Recreation.
If you could teach another field, which one and why?
I was a music major as an undergraduate, so I think I’d like to be a skilled enough guitarist to teach blues guitar. Blues is our music, our cultural heritage.
My hobby is...
cycling (I am a former collegiate racer. I raced three years for Ohio State).
What are you working on right now?
I am working with my graduate assistant and another professor on a teaching and learning paper describing a learning community we created that spans three departments (History, Political Science, and Theater), the Pre-Law Club, and the local bar association. The project focuses on social justice and whether our criminal justice system lives up to its own goals.
If I could travel anywhere it would be...
London, England (the birthplace of the common law).
Four people I’d take to coffee...
Eric Clapton, Robert Putnam, Alexis de Tocqueville, Price Marshall.
My passion is...
appellate advocacy.
Cats or dogs?
E-book or hardback?
Beach or mountains?
Why can’t I have both?
Dinner or supper?
My favorite saying is...
"You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want." - Zig Zigler.