Wayne Law Celebrates the Inaugural Peter J. Henning Memorial Lecture Series

A passionate and beloved teacher, a brilliant legal scholar, an inspirational mentor, and a colleague and friend, Peter J. Henning (1956-2022) was a bright light among the faculty of Wayne State University Law School. In recognition of his work and his untimely passing, the Law School has created the Peter J. Henning Lecture Series and Prize.

The event, which included a lecture and reception on Monday, April 3, 2023 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Damon J. Keith Lecture Hall at Wayne State University Law School.

Karen Henning, Judge Jed Rakoff, Alexandra and Molly Henning​​

“This lecture honors Professor Peter Henning, who was a giant of the law school and who passed away at an untimely age.  He was beloved by students, winning the highest teaching honors offered by both the law school and the university.  He was also a nationally recognized scholar in the fields of corporations, white-collar crime, and criminal law, authoring 5 casebooks, 7 treatises, an academic book on public corruption, and dozens of law review articles, symposium pieces, and book chapters,” says Christopher C. Lund, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development.

He adds, “This lecture will be held yearly, which will be delivered by a distinguished member of the legal profession, and which will bring the Wayne Law community together to reflect on Professor Henning’s life and legacy.”

The inaugural event featured a keynote address from the Honorable Jed Rakoff, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, a legal luminary and a specialist in securities law and criminal law. 

Judge Rakoff has served since March 1996 as a U.S. district judge for the Southern District of New York. He frequently sits by designation on the 2nd and 9th Circuit Courts of Appeals. He is also an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School and New York University School of Law and teaches at University of California, Berkeley School of Law and the University of Virginia School of Law. He has written over 180 published articles, 835 speeches, and 1,800 judicial opinions and has co-authored five books. He is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books and the author of Why the Innocent Plead Guilty and the Guilty Go Free, and Other Paradoxes of Our Broken Legal System (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2021).


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