Michele Stopera Freyhauf

msfreyhauf@hahnlaw.com 216.274.2358


Michele Stopera Freyhauf has a focus in two areas of law: cultural heritage and art law as well as estate/trust administration, tax, and nonprofit law.


She provides multi-lingual research support in the areas of provenance and claims with for artifacts and art for clients of Hahn Loeser, ranging from issues of acquisition, repatriation, and claims stemming from Nazi-era looting and other potential claims with respect to the return of stolen or illegally exported art as well as public and international policy with respect to import restrictions, exports, and cultural heritage protection and preservation. 


Michele also teaches in this same area as an Adjunct Professor at John Carroll University, where she develops courses related to cultural heritage. She has also taught at Ursuline College and Mount Union University and served as a research assistant to Dr. Marcus Pound, Director for the Centre for Catholic Studies and Lecturer at the University of Durham. 


In 2015, Michele received the McAllister Excavation Fellowship Recipient that sent her to the ancient site of Bethsaida (Israel) to participate in the excavation, documentation, and cataloguing of finds.  She is published in several peer-reviewed publications such as Popular Archaeology Magazine and Conversations in the Biblical World.  As a Ph.D. candidate, Michele’s dissertation is focused on forced exile and migration as well as cultural identity, memory, archaeology, and religious syncretism in the Second Temple period.  In that same area, she has spoken twice at the United Nations during the Commission for the Status of Women (2013/2014)

In addition, Michele has more than 30 years of experience in trust administration, tax, and nonprofit law. Michele has assisted on pension and ESOP matters, including repurchase liability projections and tax/accounting preparation. Michele also has experience developing and maintaining fiduciary accounting programs; assisting in corporate and real estate matters and business succession planning, genealogy research for next of kin and quiet title actions, forensic accounting projects, discovery litigation and adversarial bankruptcy matters, zoning and appropriations matters, title searches, marketing presentations, and the development of accounting programs.



  • Paralegal specializing in Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration, Tax and Non-Profit, Hahn Loeser & Parks, 1997 to present.
  • Paralegal specializing in Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration, Probate Litigation, Tax, Non-Profit, Pension, Business Succession Planning and Real Estate, 1993 – 1997.
  • Office Administrator/Manager and Paralegal focusing in Probate Administration and Litigation, Guardianship, Estate Planning, Subrogation Litigation, Adversarial Bankruptcy matters, General Bankruptcy, Real Estate and Appropriations/Zoning Matters, General Civil Litigation, Personal Injury and Appellate, 1986 – 1993.
  • Adjunct Professor, Ursuline College, 2012 – present.



Durham University, Ph.D. Candidate, Theology and Religious Studies, 2018


John Carroll University, M.A. Theology and Religious Studies, magna cum laude, 2012


University of Akron, Post. Grad, History of Culture, Religion and Gender in "The Americas," 2011


Ursuline College, B.A., summa cum laude, President's List, Religious Studies, 2008


University of Dayton, Catholic Catechetical Studies, 2006


Office for Pastoral Leadership, Lay Ecclesial Ministry and Formation, 2006 to present.


University of Dayton, Master Catechist Certificate, Catholic Catechetical Studies, 2005 – 2006


Akron University, Accounting, 1993


Kent State University, Psychology, 1988


Hammel Business College, Paralegal Certificate, 1986

  • CLE Courses in Probate Administration and Fiduciary Taxation, 1985 – present.
Awards & Distinctions

2016: Mandel Grant for Inclusivism and Diversity:  The Destruction of Memory.


2016: John Carroll University, Course Development Grant:  Religion, Terror, and Culture Wars.


2015: McAllister Excavation Fellowship (ASOR), Bethsaida Archaeology.


2015: Best Student Paper, Archaeology Section, Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society. 


2012- 2014:  Sisters of Charity Foundation Grant, Project with Ursuline College, “Progress and Promise, Sisters Serving Northeast Ohio: Past, Present, and Future” Lecture Series.


2012:  Best Student Paper, Archaeology Section, Eastern Great lakes Biblical Society.


2011:  Best Student Paper, as voted by the editors of Popular Archaeology Magazine.


2010:  Alpha Sigma Nu, Jesuit Honor Society, Member.


2008:  Sisters of Charity Foundation Grant, for the historical research and creation of bibliography to create a course focused on the mission and history of the Vowed Religious.


2006-2008:  President’s List, Ursuline College.

Memberships & Affiliations

Akron Bar Association, Former member, 1986-1993


American Alliance of Museums


American Academy of Religion


American Society of Oriental Research (ASOR)


Archaeological Institute of America


Association of Art Museums and Galleries


Catholic Biblical Association


Catholic Theological Society of America


Cleveland Archaeology Society


Cleveland Association of Paralegals, Associate Member, 1997-2000


College Theological Society


Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society, Member,


Student Representative and Co-Chair (2011-present).


European Association of Biblical Studies


Institute for Paralegal Education (IPE), affiliated with the National Business Institute, Member of the Program Review Board (2008-2010)


Ohio State Bar Association, Associate Member, 1986 to 2014


Society for the Study of Theology (U.K.)


Society of Biblical Literature


Society of Biblical Literature, Member at Large, Student Advisory Board, (2014-2016)


Society for Old Testament Study (U.K.)