IU professors named among most influential by National Jurist magazine


William D. HendersonRandall T. Shepard

Two Indiana University faculty members have been named to a list of the 25 most influential people in legal education by National Jurist magazine.

For the second year in a row, the publication has named William D. Henderson, a professor at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, the second-most influential person in legal education.

Randall T. Shepard, distinguished visiting professor in the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and visiting professor at the IU McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, is No. 21 on the list.

Henderson, the Val Nolan Faculty Fellow at the Maurer School of Law and director of the Center on the Global Legal Profession, was cited for an article titled “A Blueprint for Change,” in which he lays out a course of action for law schools to remain viable in the face of changing market demand.

A key element of the blueprint is Henderson’s proposal for a “12 percent solution,” in which about 12 percent of faculty members take the lead in building a competency-based curriculum designed to accelerate the development of skills and behaviors sought by both legal and non-legal employers. The article appeared in Pepperdine Law Review in February 2013.

“Bill’s work has been influential in the development of Indiana Law’s competency-based courses, and we are delighted to see his contributions recognized by National Jurist,” said Austen L. Parrish, Maurer School of Law dean and James H. Rudy Professor of Law.

Shepard retired in 2012 from the Indiana Supreme Court after a 27-year tenure, including 25 years as chief justice. He is executive in residence at the Indiana University Public Policy Institute and co-chaired the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform.

One of eight newcomers to the American Jurist list this year, Shepard was cited for his appointment as chair of the American Bar Association’s Task Force on the Future of Legal Education, which has issued controversial findings on accreditation, the financing of legal education and the need for innovation and practical skills.

“Whether he is formally lecturing to students or casually interacting with fellow faculty members at SPEA and researchers at the Public Policy Institute, Randy is always teaching,” SPEA Dean John Graham said. “That willingness to share his expertise and experiences makes him the best kind of educator.”

“It comes as no surprise to me that Justice Shepard has been recognized as one of the most influential people in legal education,” IU McKinney School of Law Dean Andrew Klein said. “As chair of the ABA Task Force charged with examining legal education, he brings outstanding leadership qualities, intellect and professionalism to analyzing key issues facing the academy. We are proud to count him as part of the McKinney Law family.”

Henderson and Shepard were chosen from more than 80 nominations received from law schools throughout the United States. National Jurist’s editors narrowed the list to 50 nominees, who were then ranked by law school deans and other influential members of the legal community.

Bryant Garth, dean emeritus of Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles and a former dean of the IU Maurer School of Law, is No. 16 on the list.

National Jurist is a monthly publication focused on law school-related news and legal education. It reaches an estimated 100,000 law students and is available online or in print at most U.S. law schools.