Jennifer Henfey Named Associate Dean for Professional Development and Leadership
Mark C. Alexander, The Arthur J. Kania Dean and Professor of Law, recently announced the appointment of Jennifer Henfey ’99 to the newly established position of Associate Dean for Professional Development and Leadership for the Charles Widger School of Law. Since 2011 Henfey has led the Office of Career Strategy and Advancement as Executive Director and then as Assistant Dean.
Henfey will oversee the strategic growth of the professional development program, including the expansion of the professional development curriculum and the development of the Law School’s newly expanded public interest and pro bono initiatives. As she does now, Henfey will continue to set the strategic vision for the Office of Career Strategy and Advancement in partnership with the to-be-hired Assistant Dean of Career Strategy and Advancement. The new Assistant Dean will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the office. The Associate Dean and Assistant Dean will work closely on the future of career preparation of Villanova Law students.
As part of the expansion of the professional development program, three additional new roles have been created: the Director of Professional Development and Leadership; the Director of Public Interest and Pro Bono Initiatives; and faculty liaison for Professional Development and Leadership. These new roles will work directly with Henfey to grow and expand the Law School’s offerings in these areas. The Associate Dean and new positions are made possible due to a recent $13 million gift from Charles Widger, Esq., ’73 JD and Barbara Widger.
“Jen has been a valued member of Law School leadership for ten years and her commitment to student success is inspirational,” said Mark C. Alexander, JD, the Arthur J. Kania Dean and Professor of Law. “Her new position and the others allow Villanova Law to commit more resources to our students and graduates, thus creating even greater opportunities for them. I know under Jen’s continued vision and leadership, our students will continue to thrive and attain rewarding careers post-graduation.”
“I am passionate about the professional development and career success of our students and alumni and am thrilled to take on this new role. The Widger’s generosity will allow us to chart the future of law student professional development and make meaningful advancements in our public interest and pro bono offerings for students,” said Henfey.
Prior to joining Villanova, Henfey practiced law for 12 years in the Philadelphia office of Blank Rome LLP, an Am Law 100 law firm. Following graduation from Villanova Law, she joined Blank Rome as an associate in the Financial Services practice group and was elevated to partner in 2008. While in private practice, she chaired the firm’s recruiting and retention committee and served as the firm’s hiring partner. In addition, she was a member of the firm’s Philadelphia recruiting and retention committee from 2001 to 2011 and served as a co-chair of the firm’s summer program from 2003 through 2005.