If you go to the Bench Bar Conference, you will meet some of Indy’s finest legal professionals – it’s guaranteed. You’ll also get to learn from some of the most well-known and experienced practitioners in the field. William D. Henderson of the IU Maurer School of Law is one of those people, and he’s kicking off the conference with his opening plenary session “The Future of the Profession” along with IndyBar President John C. Trimble of Lewis Wagner LLP.
Mr. Henderson has worked at the IU Maurer School of Law since 2003 after completing 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. Mr. Henderson earned his B.A. from Case Western University and his J.D. from University of Chicago, where he was comment editor for the University of Chicago Law Review.
His professional accolades aren’t hard to find both online and in print, but we wanted to ask Mr. Henderson some questions that won’t be found on his resume. Keep reading to learn more about this legal expert and get a sneak peek at what you can expect from his plenary session at the conference.
What are some of the biggest differences between law practice today and law practice in the past?
There is a lot more competition than a decade or two ago, and that competition takes many forms. First, law firms have grown outside of city and metropolitan areas to create highly competitive regional, national and international markets.
Second, new entrants financed by non-lawyers are starting to perform more parts of the legal supply chain (e.g., document production and review; publishing and annotating sophisticated transactional documents; using data to analyze legal issues).
Third, in-house legal department are now law firms’ direct competitors, as many have become law firms imbedded inside large corporations.
What are some of the biggest changes you think will happen to the practice in the future?
Some law firms and companies will take off because they apply technology and process to the practice of law, driving up quality and driving down cost, similar to what Henry Ford did for the automobile. Law is going to be highly interdisciplinary where lawyers and allied professionals will collaborate as co-equals.
What can attendees expect from your plenary session?
I am going to do my best to translate complex trends into something accurate and easy to understand.
What’s the best part about practicing law, regardless of whether you started now, 30 years ago, or 30 years from now?
Using one’s expertise to solve clients’ problems.
What do you do when you’re not at work?
Read books, work out with a personal trainer, spend time with my family and pets, and sleep.
What are you most looking forward to about being in Louisville/speaking at Bench Bar?
Talking with lawyers.
What might some lawyers not know about you?
I am originally from Cleveland and follow their sport teams. I hold out hope for a championship in some sport in my lifetime! •