William H. Henning

Executive Professor of Law

William H. Henning

“I’m very interested in law reform and have had the good fortune to be involved in many reform projects, mostly in the field of commercial law. I believe that it is our responsibility as lawyers to use our abilities to improve the law and, by so doing, improve the lives of those affected by it.”

Get to Know William H. Henning

What drew you to the law?

I never considered being a lawyer when I was young, but I began to think about it during college. My first job after college was as a juvenile probation counselor, and I spent a lot of time in court. I realized that I could do so much more to help others if I were a lawyer, and this realization led me to apply to law school. The rest, as they say, is history.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

Of all the things I do, I love teaching the most. I enjoy getting to know my students personally and watching them mature and develop their legal skills over the course of their law school careers. I have many former students who are now close friends.

What do you hope students gain from your courses?

I want my students to have a deep understanding of the subject areas they study and to be able to apply what they’ve learned to real-world situations. I want them to become skillful in reading statutes and legal documents, and I want them to see the interconnectedness of different areas of the law.

What did you do prior to entering academia?

I practiced law with a relatively small firm in my hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee. I did quite a bit of work for banks and credit unions, and some insurance defense work. The firm gave me a chance to teach business law at a local college, and I loved it. This led to my career in legal education.

What are you passionate about outside of the law?

I most enjoy spending time with my wife, children and grandchildren. I also love to ride my bicycle. A few years ago, a friend and I rode from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee (440 miles in seven days). We’re planning a similar trip within the next couple of years.

What are your research interests?

My research focuses primarily on Articles 2 (Sales) and 9 (Secured Transactions) of the Uniform Commercial Code. Recently I’ve focused on concurrent movements to encourage developing nations to adopt modern secured transactions laws and to encourage Native American tribes and nations to adopt the Model Tribal Secured Transactions Act.

Publications

Link to my publications.

Presentations

Presentations are listed on my CV.

Expertise

  • All aspects of the Uniform Commercial Code, especially Article 2 (Sales), Article 2A (Leases) and Article 9 (Secured Transactions)

Courses

  • Contracts
  • Sales & Leases of Goods
  • Secured Transactions
  • Private International Law (Seminar)

Academic Experience

  • Professor of Law
    Texas A&M University School of Law (2015-present)
  • Distinguished Professor of Law
    University of Alabama School of Law (2003- 2015)
  • R.B. Price Professor of Law
    University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law (1988-2003)
  • Professor of Law
    University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law (1984-1988)
  • Associate Professor of Law and Professor of Law
    University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law (1980-1984)

Education

  • LL.M., University of Illinois College of Law (1982)
  • J.D., University of Tennessee College of Law (1976)
    • Order of the Coif
  • B.A., University of Tennessee-Chattanooga (1972)

Awards / Honors

  • Life Member, Uniform Law Commission (2013)
  • Spurgeon Smithson Award (2002) (presented annually by the Missouri Bar Foundation Trustees for outstanding contributions to the legal profession by a member of the Missouri Bar)
  • Lloyd E. Roberts Memorial Prize in the Administration of Justice, University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law (1994)
  • William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, University of Missouri-Columbia (1992) (first law-faculty recipient of fellowship awarded annually to ten professors)

Other Professional Activities

  • Life Member, Uniform Law Commission
    • Current Appointments:
      • Member, Permanent Editorial Board for the Uniform Commercial Code
      • Chair, Committee to Draft a Uniform Law on Wage Garnishment
      • Member, Committee to Draft a Uniform law on Social Media Privacy
      • Member, Committee to Draft Amendments to the Model Tribal Secured Transactions Act
      • Member, Joint Editorial Board on International Law
    • Selected Previous Appointments
      • Executive Director (2001-2007)
      • Chair, Drafting Committee to Amend UCC Articles 2/2A (1999-2001)
      • Member, Drafting Committee to Amend UCC Article 9 (2008-2010)
      • Division Chair (2007-2011)
      • Member, Committee on Scope and Program (1999-2001)
  • Member, American Law Institute
  • Members Consultative Group for the Restatement of the Law of American Indians
  • Member, U.S. Department of State Advisory Committee on Private International Law (2008-present)
  • Member, U.S. Delegation to United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, Working Group VI on Secured Transactions (2010-present)
  • Member, U.S. Delegation to the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law, Project to Draft Model Law on Leasing (2007-2010)
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Missouri Bar Association