Karen McDonald Henning

Karen McDonald Henning

Associate Dean, Academic Affairs
Associate Professor of Law

Henning, Karen McDonald
Contact Info:
Campus: Riverfront Campus
Building: Dowling Hall
Room: 307
Phone: 313-596-0231
Henning, Karen McDonald
Areas of Expertise:
Appellate Advocacy
Civil Procedure
Criminal Procedure
Federal Jurisdiction
Legal Writing
Legal Research


  • J.D. University of Pennsylvania '86
  • B.A. Trinity College '81


Karen McDonald Henning’s scholarship principally focuses on the remedies available for violations of constitutional rights. After graduating from law school, she clerked for Judge Collins Seitz for the Third Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals. Professor Henning then joined the litigation department of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom and worked on a variety of matters before federal appellate and trial courts as well as federal administrative agencies.  She served as an appellate attorney in the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia and represented the District of Columbia in cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. 

Professor Henning joined the Detroit Mercy Law faculty in 2008. She has received the University of Detroit Mercy Faculty Excellence Award, the Student Bar Association Professor of the Year Award, James T. Barnes, Sr. Memorial Faculty Scholar Award and Moot Court Faculty Coach of the Year twice.  

 Professor Henning enjoys spending time outside, especially hiking and kayaking. 


    Courses Taught

    Advanced Advocacy 

    Applied Legal Theory and Analysis 

    Civil Procedure 

    Criminal Procedure –Adjudications 

    Criminal Procedure-Investigations 

    Federal Jurisdiction 

    Judicial Clerkship Seminar 

    Pretrial Criminal Litigation 


    Selected Publications

    MASTERING CRIMINAL PROCEDURE (3d ed. Carolina Press 2020) (with Ellen Podgor, Peter Henning, Cynthia Jones, & Sanjay Chhablani) 

    CRIMINAL PRETRIAL ADVOCACY (3d ed. Thompson West, 2019) (with Peter Henning and Leonid Feller) 

    If You Give a Mouse a Cookie: Increasing Assessments and Feedback in Law School Classes, 95 U. DET. MERCY L. REV. 35 (2017) (with Julia Belian) 

    Reasonable” Police Mistakes: Fourth Amendment Claims and the Good Faith Exception After Heien, 90 ST. JOHNS L. REV. 271 (2016) (lead article) 


    Selected Presentations

    If You Give a Mouse a Cookie: Increasing Assessments and Feedback in Law School Classes, University of Detroit Mercy Law Review Symposium, Detroit, MI, March 3, 2017 (with Julia Belian) 

    If You Give a Mouse a Cookie: How Bar Exam Ready Students Become Practice Ready Practitioners, INSTITUTE FOR LAW TEACHING AND LEARNING, University of Washburn Law School, Topeka, Kansas, June 11, 2016 (with Julia Belian)