Michele Stopera Freyhauf, M.A., Ph.D. Cand.

Paralegal and Provenance Researcher
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 cultural heritage for clients of Hahn Loeser, especially concerning issues of acquisition, repatriation and claims stemming from Nazi-era looting as well as other potential claims for works of art or artifacts.  Michele has an additional focus related to national and international policy concerning import restrictions, exports and cultural heritage protection and preservation. 

Michele teaches in this same area as an Adjunct Professor at John Carroll University, where she develops coursework related to cultural heritage. In 2016, Michele received a course development grant to develop a class that focuses on cultural heritage, ethics, and social justice, and in 2017 she was awarded the Mandel Grant for Inclusivism and Diversity for a program called “The Right to Remember,” a campus-wide initiative to raise awareness about the destruction of cultural patrimony and the importance of protection and preservation.  Michele has mentored students and coordinated student panel presentations during the Celebration of Scholarship, which showcases student research in the area of cultural heritage and terrorism.  Currently, Michele also serves on the Part-Time Advisory Committee in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University.

In 2015, Michele received the McAllister Excavation Fellowship awarded through American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR).  This fellowship sent her to the ancient site of Bethsaida (Israel) whereby she participated in the excavation, documentation, and cataloging of finds. She has also published and appears in several peer-reviewed publications such as Popular Archaeology Magazine and Conversations in the Biblical World (Archaeology Section). As a Ph.D. candidate, Michele’s dissertation focuses on forced exile and migration as well as cultural identity, memory, archaeology, and religious syncretism during the Second Temple period.

Michele has spoken twice at the United Nations during the Commission for the Status of Women (2013/2014), at the National Convention for American Mothers (2013), and at several academic conferences whereby she was awarded best paper in Archaeology in 2011 and 2012 for her work and research on the Hagia Sophia, and 2015 for her work with respect to representations of canines in Ancient Egypt, Persia, and the Classical period.

Michele has more than 30 years of experience in trust administration, tax, and nonprofit law.

Professional History

  • Provenance Researcher and Paralegal specializing in the area of art and cultural heritage, Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP, 2014-present
  • Paralegal specializing in Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration, Tax and Non-Profit, Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP, 1997-present
  • Paralegal specializing in Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration, Probate Litigation, Tax, Non-Profit, Pension, Business Succession Planning and Real Estate, Krugliak, Wilkins, & Doughtery, Co. LPA, 1993-97
  • 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, Weick, Gibson & Lowry, Co. LPA, 1986-93
  • Part-time lecturer, John Carroll University, 2012-present
  • Adjunct Professor, Ursuline College, 2012-17
  • Adjunct Professor, Mount Union College, 2014
  • Research Assistant, Durham University (U.K.), 2014-17



Durham University, Ph.D. Candidate, Theology and Religious Studies, Focus on Hebrew Bible, Archaeology, Forced Migration/Exile, and Cultural Heritage and Memory Studies


University of Akron, Post-Graduate Studies, Department of History, Concentration. History of the “America’s” with emphasis on Culture, Religion and Gender, 2011-present


John Carroll University, M.A., Theology and Religious Studies, Focus on Biblical Studies, Social Justice, & Ethics, magna cum laude, 2012


Ursuline College, B.A., Religious Studies, summa cum laude, 2008

Honors & Activities: President’s List 2007-08

Memberships & Affiliations

American Society of Oriental Research (ASOR)


Cleveland Archaeology Society


American Institute of Archaeology


American Alliance of Museums


College Art Association


Society of Biblical Literature


Society for Old Testament Study (U.K.)