What Is Bankruptcy Law And Reasons To Study It Best Law Schools

When people realize that their debts exceed their assets, they often panic, overwhelmed by their fears for the future. Likewise, anyone who gives a loan to a seemingly trustworthy borrower will be upset if the borrower becomes unable or unwilling to repay that loan.


What is bankruptcy law and what bankruptcy lawyers do

Bankruptcy law is the system of rules that governs unfortunate situations where individuals or organizations have crushing debt and seek a way out.

“Bankruptcy law is about fairness,” Sheereen E. Middleton, founder of the Middleton Legal law firm in Maryland, said in an email. “It is about balancing the rights of consumers to receive redress and the rights of creditors to receive payment.”

A top bankruptcy lawyer can step in during this state of crisis and provide sound legal advice based on an understanding of the many complex laws that govern bankruptcy. The work involves a combination of strategy and empathy and requires a mixture of legal drafting skills and oratory ability, experts say. Creative problem solving is also a must in this arena, as is financial literacy and the ability to compromise.

Bankruptcy lawyers can represent creditors or debtors. Their job is to effectively defend the interests of their clients, whether they are conducting an informal negotiation with the opposing lawyer or presenting a plea in court. Bankruptcy lawyers can also serve as an impartial intermediary whose job it is to ensure that the bankruptcy process is fair, whether a judge, trustee or regulator.

Corali Lopez-Castro, a partner at Florida law firm Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, says bankruptcy attorneys like herself look like firefighters. “You put out fires all the time,” she says.

Lopez-Castro says one of the most rewarding moments of his career was when a client wrote to him and described that he was sleeping soundly despite bankruptcy because Lopez-Castro made the client feel protected from harm.

The achievement that Lopez-Castro takes most pride in, she says, is when it prevents clients who are on the verge of bankruptcy from filing for bankruptcy. She sometimes negotiates agreements between debtors and creditors in which the debtor no longer needs to file for bankruptcy because she convinces creditors that they can get a better deal out of court than in court.

The Rapidly Rising Demand for Bankruptcy Lawyers

Due to the current economic downturn, many large and prestigious law firms started recruiting bankruptcy lawyers. Several legal recruitment agencies identify this legal specialty as the one that is most in demand and where the number of business law firms is growing the most rapidly.

One reason for this spike in hiring is that many business executives have become interested in debt restructuring and want the help of bankruptcy lawyers, experts say.

Lawyers with expertise in corporate restructuring and reorganization can earn high salaries. According to LawCrossing.com, a legal employment website, the average annual salary for American financial restructuring lawyers is about $ 118,000, and salaries in major metropolitan areas are significantly higher.

Bankruptcy lawyers predict a giant influx of businesses in the near future for a variety of reasons.

The coronavirus pandemic and the quarantine policies adopted as a result have had negative financial implications for individuals and businesses. While many people and businesses that have experienced economic hardship as a result of COVID-19 have received some relief from the government, that relief may not be enough to prevent bankruptcy.

Additionally, many of the benefits of stimulus relief are temporary. Once the moratoriums on evictions and collections expire and improved unemployment insurance no longer comes in, many families may not have enough money to pay their bills. Meanwhile, many small businesses and large businesses are on the verge of financial insolvency and heavily dependent on government assistance, without which they could collapse.

There are other factors at play that have nothing to do with the pandemic. Several federal laws passed in the months leading up to the COVID-19 crisis have significant legal implications for those facing the prospect of bankruptcy. These new laws include the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019, known as the SBRA; the Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need Act, also known as the HAVEN Act; and the law on assistance to family farmers.

Since each move has dramatically changed federal bankruptcy laws, individuals or organizations may choose to consult a lawyer for expert advice on the new rules.

In addition, debt limits for Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings increased in 2019, increasing the number of people and businesses eligible for this type of bankruptcy.

In addition, given the more in-depth discussions between lawmakers and policy makers student loan debt and the possible forgiveness options, it may soon become possible for people with this type of debt to systematically receive partial or full forgiveness through bankruptcy. This would be a big change, considering it is rare these days for a person to be able to pay off their student loan debt through bankruptcy.

“There’s a huge, huge problem with student loans, and it’s multigenerational,” says Robert Rock, partner in the Albany office of the Tully Rinckey PLLC law office.

How to find the right law school for a career in bankruptcy law

Prospective bankruptcy lawyers should know if their target law schools have bankruptcy law clinics or legal aid programs that help indebted individuals and businesses, as participating in these activities can be a way to acquire marketable skills, experts suggest.

Another thing to consider is whether a school offers courses specifically focused on bankruptcy law. According to experts, the more the number and variety of these courses, the better, according to experts, who note that it is ideal that these courses are taught by professors who are reputable bankruptcy lawyers.

Jonathan Carson, co-CEO of Stretto, a company that provides technological and administrative assistance to the corporate restructuring and consumer bankruptcy industry, advises aspiring bankruptcy lawyers to check whether a law school offers a course called “accounting for lawyers” because reading a balance sheet or income statement is essential in the field.

A trial law course is also beneficial, as it allows JD students to develop the litigation skills they will need if they become bankruptcy lawyers, Carson says. Other experts suggest that future bankrupt lawyers should participate in moot competitions to learn public speaking skills.

While in law school, experts suggest that anyone who hopes to become a bankruptcy lawyer should aim to obtain a bankruptcy law internship to gain work experience in the field and learn from an experienced lawyer. Aspiring bankrupt lawyers should also consider judicial day school with a bankruptcy judge, experts say.

About Marc Womack

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