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KaLeya Hardin


Background & motivation

I have always wanted to help people. When I was younger, I thought that the only way to do that was to be either a firefighter or a doctor and neither was very appealing to me. I was both blessed and excited to find out that attorneys help people too, and there was almost never any blood involved. My family, while pretty big by today’s standards, had no lawyers, and I had never met a lawyer while living in the small country town where I was raised. Years later, while attending Tougaloo College as a Political Science/Pre-Law student, I met my first lawyer, participated in my first mock trial, and was absolutely sold on my career choice.


As I got closer to my first bar exam, my family began to look different to me. They became my source of comfort, my confidants, and my personal cheering section. I realized that as much as I wanted to help people who I did not know, I wanted to help my family too. They were essentially no different from the people I had always wanted to help. People who were unaware of their rights. People who had been mistreated, misused, and mislead by mega-corporations, hospitals, nursing homes, etc. People who needed someone to fight these giants for them—to be their David, if you will.


Before joining Dean Omar Branham, I worked as a Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney—fighting giants who ran nursing homes where the promise to take care of a family’s loved ones was never more important than the profit made by having the facility’s beds filled. So, moving to Dallas to be a part of a team on the right side of the fight was an easy choice for me. Although it involved facing different giants in a different industry, my motivation—still guided by the opportunity to help—remains the same.


Mississippi College School of Law

Doctor of Jurisprudence, 2011

Cum Laude

Tougaloo Scholar


Wichita State University

Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice, 2008

Summa Cum Laude


Tougaloo College

Bachelor Degree in Political Science/Pre-Law, 2006

Summa Cum Laude

Presidential Scholar