Henenberg Honored by National Trial Advocacy College

The Honorable Karen A. Henenberg received the 2017 William J. Brennan Jr. Award from the National Trial Advocacy College on Feb. 1. Henenberg retired in 2013 as an Arlington County General District Court judge. She is now an adjunct professor at Marymount University.

“It was an absolute thrill and totally unexpected,” said Henenberg, who has taught the past 20 years in the respected advocacy program. The program is geared toward practicing attorneys and held annually at the University of Virginia Law School. “It almost doesn’t seem right to receive an award for doing something you love so much. In my time there I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of teaching with some of the finest judges and attorneys in the United States.”

The Brennan Award honors the late Supreme Court justice’s contributions to our legal system and the development and enhancement of trial advocacy skills. Honorees are selected based on their contributions to advocacy education and the legal profession. Each recipient receives an engraved pewter bowl.

Henenberg has taught in Marymount’s Criminal Justice Department and in the Legal and Forensic Psychology graduate program since 2009.

“I love teaching college,” she said. “The students have a thirst for knowledge and aren’t shy about questioning things.”

She encourages them to be informed about current events and enjoys exposing them to the court system.

Henenberg is also an adjunct professor at George Mason University School of Law, recently renamed Antonin Scalia Law School. The late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia was a previous Brennan Award recipient.

Prior to her 18 years on the bench in Arlington County, Henenberg was an assistant Commonwealth attorney. She earned her undergraduate degree from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and her law degree from the University of Richmond Law School.

She said that she was fortunate to have had great teachers as role models and has always done her best to pay that forward.

“I’ve been lucky to have been selected to teach at Marymount University,” she said. “Teaching is a privilege that is both very challenging and very rewarding.”

Marymount University is an independent, coeducational Catholic university offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in a wide range of disciplines.

Photo caption

Judge Karen A. Henenberg