John R. Hailman
Overby Fellow in Journalism
and Adjunct Professor of Law

Phone: (662) 915-1716


John Hailman began his career in journalism as a columnist for the Washington Post. He served as a nationally syndicated wine, food and travel columnist for Gannett News Service. His weekly column appeared in 100 daily papers for 15 years. He is the author of a critically acclaimed biography entitled Thomas Jefferson On Wine. As an Overby Fellow, Hailman is currently at work on three new books: From Midnight to Guntown: A Prosecutor in the Land of Faulkner and Elvis; Good Wine, a compilation of his columns, and a law school text: Law and Literature from Confucius to John Grisham.

In his day job, Hailman was a career prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Oxford for 33 years. He served as Legal Counsel to the late U.S. Senator John Stennis when he was chairman of the Armed Services and Ethics Committees, during the historic period known as Watergate. Hailman served for two years as law clerk to Chief Judge William C. Keady, when the Judge integrated the public schools of North Mississippi. He worked as a civil rights lawyer for both North Mississippi Rural Legal Services and California Rural Legal Assistance.

Hailman attended the Sorbonne in Paris for two years, the Universite Laval in Quebec and the National School for Magistrates in Paris. He is a graduate of Millsaps College in Jackson, holds a Masters Degree from Tulane, and his J.D. from the University of Mississippi. He was a Graduate Fellow in Trial Practice at Georgetown University Law School.

Hailman has taught law at the University of Mississippi for over 20 years as well as the FBI Academy and the Justice Department’s school for prosecutors. He has taught law internationally for DOJ in over a dozen countries, from Morocco and Tunisia to Indonesia, the Republics of Georgia and Moldova, and the Sultanate of Oman. Hailman speaks fluent French and has served as an interpreter both for France and DOJ’s Office of International Affairs.

Hailman and his wife, Regan have two grown daughters: Allison, a medical doctor in Tupelo, MS; and Lydia, an account coordinator with Siegenthatler Public Relations in Nashville, TN.


Worked 3 years as wine consultant clerk at the Original Wine & Cheese Shop, Georgetown, D.C. Appraised wine cellars. (1972-74)

Wine columnist for the Washington Post, (1972-4); nationally syndicated weekly wine columnist for Gannett News Service in over 100 daily papers.

Regular wine judge for over 20 years at the L.A. County Fair, Jerry Mead’s New World International, San Diego International, Dallas Morning News, Pacific Rim, Riverside, Northwest Wine Summit in Oregon, the Tasters’ Guild, Banco d’Assagio in Torgiano, Italy and several others.

Explored vineyards and cellars of most well-known wine regions, plus extensive vineyard travel in Republics of Georgia and Moldova

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