William D. Henderson

William D. Henderson

Stephen F. Burns Professor of Law

  • B.A., Case Western Reserve University 1997
  • J.D., University of Chicago 2001
  • Earned his B.A. magna cum laude from Case Western University
  • Received his J.D. with honors from the University of Chicago, where he was comment editor of the University of Chicago Law Review
  • Winner, 2006 Leon H. Wallace Teaching Award
  • Co-Principal Investigator, Effect of Law School Racial Preferences on Minority Bar Performance, Searle Freedom Trust, July 2007 ($1.2 million) (grant administered through UCLA School of Law)
  • Co-Principal Investigator, The Production, Consumption and Content of Legal Scholarship: A Longitudinal Analysis, Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), Dec. 2006 ($159,611) (served as lead contact; grant administered through Indiana University)
  • Principal Investigator, Speed as a Variable on Law School Exams and the LSAT, Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), Dec. 2002 ($67,000)
  • Faculty Organizer and founder, JD/LLM Socctoberfest (2003-07)
  • Founding Director, Milt and Judi Stewart Center on the Global Legal Profession

William D. Henderson joined the IU Maurer School of Law faculty in 2003 following a visiting appointment at Chicago-Kent College of Law and a judicial clerkship for Judge Richard Cudahy of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

In conjunction with other Indiana law faculty, Henderson introduced a new first-year course in 2009 called The Legal Profession. This mandatory four-hour course covers the ethics, competencies, and economics of the legal profession. Inspired by the 2007 Carnegie Report on Legal Education, the course uses legal ethics and the law of lawyering as the spine of a course that immerses students in a variety of practice settings and that educates them on the competencies they must develop to succeed in their professional lives.

In addition, Henderson teaches various business law courses, including corporations, business planning, project management, and the law firm as business organization. From 2009-2014. he served as the director of Indiana Law's

Center on the Global Legal Profession.

Henderson's scholarship focuses on empirical analysis of the legal profession and legal education. His published work includes articles in the North Carolina Law Review, Indiana Law Journal, Texas Law Review, Michigan Law Review, and Stanford Law Review. He is also a frequent commentator, author, and lecturer on trends in the legal profession, including patterns of lawyer mobility, the relationship between profitability and associate satisfaction, the economic geography of large law firms, and attrition rates of female and minority attorneys. His work appears frequently in such national publications as The American Lawyer, The Wall Street Journal, ABA Journal, and the National Law Journal. In 2012 and 2013, National Jurist magazine named him the second-most influential person in legal education.

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Henderson is a research associate with the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) and a principal in Lawyer Metrics, a consulting firm that uses evidence-based methods to assist firms in identifying, selecting, and developing world-class lawyers. He is also a regular contributor to the Empirical Legal Studies Blog (

www.elsblog.org) and is an editor of the

Legal Whiteboard blog.

In the media
Selected Works
  • From Big Law to Lean Law, 3 INT'L REV. L & ECON. (2013).
  • A Blueprint for Change, 40 PEPP. L. REV 461 (2013).
  • Law Firm Strategies for Human Capital, in STUDIES IN LAW, POLITICS, AND SOCIETY (Austin Sarat, ed.) (2012).
  • Three Generations of U.S. Lawyers: Generalists, Speicalists, Project Managers , 70 MD. L. REV 1 (2011).
  • The Bursting of the Pedigree Bubble, 21 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR LAW PLACEMENT BULLETIN 1 (2009).
  • An Empirical Analysis of Lateral Lawyer Trends from 2000 to 2007: The Emerging Equilibrium for Corporate Law Firms (with Leonard Bierman), 22 GEORGETOWN JOURNAL OF LEGAL ETHICS (2009).
  • Analysis of Law Schools and Legal Education in North Carolina: A Report for Potential Students, Lawmakers, and the Public, POPE CENTER SERIES ON HIGHER EDUCATION POLICY (2008).
  • The Elastic Tournament: A Second Transformation of the Big Law Firm (with Marc Galanter), 60 STANFORD LAW REVIEW 1867 (2008). [HeinOnline]
  • Measuring Outcomes: Post-Graduation Measures of Success in the U.S. News & World Report Law School Rankings (with Andrew P. Morriss), 83 INDIANA LAW JOURNAL 791 (2008). [HeinOnline]
  • Young Associates in Trouble, 105 Mich. L. Rev. 1087 (2007) (book review essay and empirical study) (co-authored with David Zaring)
  • Single-Tier versus Two-Tier Partnership Tracks at Am Law 200 Law Firms: Evidence and Theory, 84 N.C. L. Rev. 1691 (2006).
  • Student Quality as Measured by LSAT Scores: Migration Patterns in the U.S. News Rankings Era, 81 Ind. L. J. 163 (2006) (co-authored with Andrew Morriss).
  • Law firm economics
  • Law school rankings
  • Empirical analysis of legal education