National Jurist names IU Maurer School of Law professor most influential in legal education
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- For the second year in a row, National Jurist has named Indiana University Maurer School of Law professor and Val Nolan faculty fellow William Henderson as the most influential person in legal education, putting him atop a list of professors, deans and chancellors whose voices and opinions are shaping the way future lawyers are educated and trained.
The rankings appear in the February 2016 edition of the magazine, which reaches more than 100,000 law students and educators.
In addition to ranking first in both 2015 and 2016, Henderson ranked second in both 2013 and 2014. He is a staunch believer in the need for change in the way tomorrow’s lawyers are shaped in today’s classrooms. According to National Jurist, he “has been long admired for his research and well-reasoned opinions on legal education.”
Unlike some scholars, Henderson believes there are serious problems with legal education today.
“We are in a world where professionals get judged by results, not intentions,” he told National Jurist.
But he is impressed by efforts that law schools are making to address the crisis.
“We are trying,” he said. “We’ll get some breakthrough soon. Just don’t expect any early applause.”
In 2009, Henderson and other Maurer School of Law faculty introduced a first-year course called The Legal Profession, an innovative four-hour required class that covers the ethics, competencies and economics of the legal profession. From 2009 until 2014, he served as director of the law school’s Center on the Global Legal Profession. Earlier this month, he helped secure faculty for the law school’s innovative Wintersession, a one-week condensed course exploring a variety of practical topics, including depositions, ethics and compliance.
"The National Jurist’s ranking confirms what we in the legal education circle have known for years: that Bill Henderson is one of, if not the most, influential voices in the country when it comes to explaining and understanding changes occurring in large law firms and the legal profession," said Austen L. Parrish, Maurer School of Law dean and the James H. Rudy Professor of Law. "We are fortunate to have Bill here in Bloomington, where his insight and expertise have been invaluable."
Henderson's recognition follows that of other Maurer School of Law faculty, including Ajay Mehrotra's appointment as director of the American Bar Foundation; Jeannine Bell's being named co-editor of the Law and Society Review, Fred H. Cate's selection as Indiana University's vice president for research; Hannah Buxbaum's appointment as director of the IU Europe Gateway; Alfred C. Aman Jr.'s receiving the John W. Ryan Award for Distinguished Contributions to International Programs and Studies; and Susan H. Williams' being presented with the Sonneborn Award.
Two other influential jurists with ties to the Maurer School of Law also made National Jurist's list: Kellye Testy ( No. 6), a 1991 graduate serving as dean of the University of Washington School of Law, and Bryant Garth (No. 23), a former Maurer School of Law faculty member and dean who is a professor at the University of California-Irvine School of Law.
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