Law Center Establishes Williams Research Professorships

February 3, 2016 —

Professor Kristin Henning Professor Kristin Henning
Professor John Mikhail Professor John Mikhail

Georgetown University Law Center is pleased to announce the creation of the Williams Research Professorships. The six professorships were established at the Law Center last year through the generosity of Agnes N. Williams (L'54).

The purpose of the Williams Research Professorships is to recognize and support the scholarly activities of recently tenured members of the Georgetown Law faculty. Each year starting in 2016, two Williams Research Professors will be appointed to three-year terms.

Professors Kristin Nicole Henning and John Mikhail have been named as the inaugural Williams Research Professors. A ceremony to mark their appointments will take place next month at the Law Center's faculty retreat.

“Professors Henning and Mikhail are accomplished scholars, great teachers and wonderful colleagues,” said Dean William M. Treanor. “Their academic and professional achievements, coupled with their commitment to legal education, make their appointments as the inaugural Williams Research Professors well-deserved honors.”

Henning is the director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic. Formerly a Stuart-Stiller Fellow, she joined the Law Center faculty in 2001 after four years at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. She has published a number of law review articles and book chapters on topics such as race and the juvenile justice system, the role of child’s counsel, and children and the Fourth Amendment. Her scholarship has appeared in journals such as the Cornell Law Review, California Law Review, and NYU Law Review and in books such as Punishment in Popular Culture (NYU Press, 2015; edited by Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. and Austin Sarat). Her article “Loyalty Paternalism and Rights” (Notre Dame Law Review, 2005) was cited by the Supreme Court in Graham v. Florida. She is also the lead author of a national training curriculum for juvenile defense attorneys, serves as the reporter for the ABA Task Force on Standards for Dual-jurisdiction and Crossover Youth, and has served as an investigator in several state and federal assessments of the access to and quality of legal representation for accused youth.

In 2008, Henning received the Shanara Gilbert Award from the Clinical Section of the Association of American Law Schools for her commitment to social justice on behalf of children, service to the cause of clinical legal education, and an interest in international legal education. In 2013, she received the Robert E. Shepherd, Jr. Award for Excellence in Juvenile Defense by the National Juvenile Defender Center. In 2015, she received an Award for Youth Justice from the DC Lawyers for Youth. Henning has been a visiting professor at Yale and NYU Law Schools. She holds a B.A. from Duke University, a J.D. from Yale University, and an LL.M. from Georgetown University.

Mikhail joined the Law Center faculty in 2004. His research interests include torts, criminal law, constitutional law, moral and legal philosophy, legal history, and cognitive science. He is the author of Elements of Moral Cognition: Rawls' Linguistic Analogy and the Cognitive Science of Moral and Legal Judgment (Cambridge University Press, 2011). He has published in a wide range of scholarly journals, including Stanford Law Review, Virginia Law Review, Law and History Review, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, and Ethics, and his research has been featured in Science, Der Spiegel, Boston Review, Discover Magazine and other popular magazines. 

Mikhail received a B.A. from Amherst College, an M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Cornell University, and a J.D. from Stanford University. After graduating from Stanford, he worked for Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett and then served as a judicial clerk to Judge Rosemary Barkett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. He has been a lecturer and research affiliate in the department of brain and cognitive sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a visiting junior scholar at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, a visiting scholar at Stanford Law School, and a visiting professor at the University of Zurich. From 2011 to 2013, he was associate dean for International and Transnational Legal Studies.

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