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AWLF 2017 Board of Directors - CLICK HERE

Denise Henning
Founder of AWLF | AWL President, 2003

The AWL Foundation is a unique organization formed to support AWL and encourage AWL past presidents and board members to continue to be involved even after their service on the AWL board is completed. The women lawyers who have served AWL have incredible networking power that they can use to connect AWL members to jobs, refer business and support women applying for boards, awards and judicial positions. The AWL Foundation helps to keep those women lawyers connected to AWL and its membership. The relationships formed through AWL and AWLF are invaluable and result in case referrals and phenomenal networking opportunities as well as personal support.

AWL is an outstanding support network for women lawyers and the AWL Foundation just takes that one step further by offering a deeper charitable focus for the organization. AWLF awards scholarships to educational bar events and promotes networking through programs that help AWL members build strong relationships.


In Memoriam of Denise...
Denise Henning - A Champion for Women

In addition to her roles as daughter, sister, wife, mother and attorney, Denise Henning bore the title of “champion for women”. From the time she was the president of the Association for Women Lawyers of Greater Kansas City in 2003, she made it her personal mission to implement ideas and create action plans that would assist women in the legal profession in advancing their careers. She was acutely aware that women in the legal profession are woefully underrepresented in comparison to their male counterparts as firm partners, judges and award recipients. She consistently pushed for women to nominate other women for awards, and for the Association for Women Lawyers to endorse female applicants for judicial vacancies. She was the founder and first president of the Association for Women Lawyers Foundation. In that capacity she developed the First Connections Mentoring program that paired experienced female attorneys with inexperienced attorneys to provide a supportive network for women who are practicing law in the Kansas City Metro area. She firmly believed in the power of networking and how it could assist women with achieving their professional goals. Through these organizations, and individually, Denise spent countless hours providing invaluable insight to women who were breaking gender barriers by starting their own firms, running for public office and applying for awards, honors and judicial vacancies. The amount of advice, endorsement, help and support that Denise provided to countless women over 20 years was staggering. September 11, 2016 Denise’s life, and thus her commitment to women in the legal profession, ended much too soon. Fortunately, Denise’s legacy lives on through the lives of hundreds of women who were the recipients of her generous spirit. Many continue the legacy that Denise began by paying forward their help and insight to the next generation of women who are foraying into the legal profession. There are not enough words to express the gratitude that the hundreds of recipients of Denise’s generosity can express for the achievements Denise helped them to accomplish. Denise Henning was truly a champion for women.

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