Ralph Brubaker

Ralph Brubaker

Carl L. Vacketta Professor of Law, University of Illinois College of Law

Considered one of the leading bankruptcy scholars of his generation, Professor Brubaker is the Carl L. Vacketta Professor of Law. He served as Interim Dean of the College of Law in 2008-09 after serving as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the previous two years. Professor Brubaker rejoined the Illinois faculty in 2004, returning to his alma mater after serving as a member of the faculty at the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia for 10 years, where he was also the faculty adviser to the Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal.

After earning an undergraduate degree with Bronze Tablet distinction at Illinois, Professor Brubaker passed the CPA exam before pursuing a dual JD/MBA degree. Professor Brubaker received his JD summa cum laude from the College of Law, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif, a Harno Fellow, and recipient of Rickert Awards for Excellence in Academic Achievement and in Legal Writing. He also served as articles editor for the University of Illinois Law Review.

Following graduation, Professor Brubaker clerked for Judge James K. Logan of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Later, he practiced in the bankruptcy and corporate reorganization group of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey (now Squire Patton Boggs) in Cleveland, Ohio, where he gained extensive experience in large- and medium-sized Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization proceedings, including prepackaged, leveraged buy-out, and mass-tort bankruptcies.

Professor Brubaker began teaching at the College of Law, later joining the Emory faculty in 1995. He is co-author of Bankruptcy Law: Principles, Policies, and Practice (with Charles J. Tabb) and has written dozens of journal articles and essays exploring all facets of federal bankruptcy law, particularly Chapter 11 corporate reorganizations and the complex jurisdictional and procedural aspects of federal bankruptcy proceedings. He was awarded the 2003 Editors’ Prize from The American Bankruptcy Law Journal for his article, “Of State Sovereign Immunity and Prospective Remedies: The Bankruptcy Discharge as Statutory Ex parte Young Relief,” 76 American Bankruptcy Law Journal 461 (2002).

Professor Brubaker is the editor-in-chief and a contributing author for West’s Bankruptcy Law Letter, and he has served on the editorial advisory boards of The American Bankruptcy Law Journal and the American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review. He is a member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, for which he currently serves as the Scholar-in-Residence. Professor Brubaker has been a member of the executive committee of the board of directors for the American Bankruptcy Institute, and he was a member of the advisory committee on 363 sales for the ABI’s 2014 Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11.


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