Bankruptcy Law Career Guide

By Fred Dingledy
Revised June 2023

Circuit City bankruptcy
Books, Guides, and Directories

Kevin M. Baum, Craig T. Lutterbein & American Bankruptcy Institute. Survival Guide for the New Lawyer: What They Didn't Teach You in Law School. Alexandria, Va.: American Bankruptcy Institute, 2014.
Offers advice on legal practice for the new attorney, including the basics of bankruptcy law, how to interact with clients, and advice from a bankruptcy judge.
Available on Bloomberg Law (password required).

Databases and Websites

WESTLAW: West's Legal Directory
You can search this directory by practice area and state. - Bankruptcy Law Firms by State, Province or Country
Page of the online version of the Martindale-Hubbell directory listing bankruptcy attorneys and firms in the United States and abroad.

Journal and Website Articles

Chambers Associate, "Bankruptcy and Restructuring".
Summarizes what the field of bankruptcy law entails, and contains quotes from practicing attorneys on the type of work they usually deal with and what type of person might thrive in the field.

Clark, Emory, "What you need to know to get into bankruptcy law", ABA Before the Bar Blog (Apr. 11, 2017).
Describes several factors a law student should consider before entering a career in bankruptcy law.

Firsthand, "Best Law Firms for Bankruptcy/Restructuring" (annual).
Annual list of best law firms working in bankruptcy based on a survey of associates at law firms working in that area.

Hanna, Janan. "Bankruptcy", 40(6) Student Lawyer 28 (Feb. 2012).
Brief interview with a corporate bankruptcy attorney describing the type of work involved and the workplace environment.

Kowarski, Ilana. "What Bankruptcy Law Is and Reasons to Study It", US News (Jan. 8, 2021).
Article describes the type of work a bankruptcy attorney does and what type of courses in law school may be helpful.

Levee, Ira. "10 Things To Know about Bankruptcy Practice"Above the Law (Jan. 17, 2017).
Former Of Counsel for Lowenstein Sandler describes the qualities a successful bankruptcy attorney would have, pros and cons of the field, and what a working day for a lawyer in the field is like.

"Never Thought about Being a Bankruptcy Lawyer? Think Again", Chambers Associates.
Several bankruptcy attorneys describe the advantages of bankruptcy practice and what work as a bankruptcy attorney is like, as well as possible career paths. Article also describes what skills a bankruptcy attorney needs. 

Sales, Carolina Y., "Q&A: Following up on bankruptcy law webinar", ABA Before The Bar.
Small-firm partner and bankruptcy attorney answers questions from law students about how to prepare for a career in bankruptcy law, business prospects for bankruptcy lawyers, and what working conditions are like for attorneys working in that area.

Schultz, David. "Crypto Winter Means Hard Work for Bankruptcy Lawyers", On the Merits (March 2023).
In an episode of his podcast, David Schultz talks with several bankruptcy attorneys about what it is like to supervise the bankruptcy of a cryptocurrency platform company.

Stansky, Lisa, "Bankruptcy Law Combines Litigation and Transactional Skills", 37(2) Student Lawyer 8 (Oct. 2008).
Article featuring several bankruptcy attorneys talking about the types of work and related areas of law they deal with, and offer advice on how to get started in the field.

Strom, Roy, "Big Law Business: Big Law's Baby Lawyers Rack Up Fees on FTX Bankruptcy Case", Bloomberg Law News (June 15, 2023).
Columnist describes the substantial amount of work first-year associates have recently been getting at Big Law firms handling bankruptcy cases.

Vault Law Editors, "Lifestyle in Bankruptcy Law", Firsthand (Mar. 10, 2009).
Discusses typical work day, pay, and benefits of a bankruptcy lawyer, as well as how a bankruptcy case usually progresses.


There are ABA, state, and local bar associations which may have special interest sections for attorneys practicing in the field of bankruptcy law. These bar associations and their special sections can be located in the respective bar directories.

American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI)
66 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 600
Alexandria, VA 22314
tel.: (866) 921-1027
ABI is a "non-partisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency", with a membership of over 12,000 attorneys, judges, professors, and other professionals related to bankruptcy; members have access to an online membership directory. ABI publishes a number of journals and newsletters, briefs Congressional staff, and issues white papers and testifies before Congress.

Bankruptcy Law Section, The Virginia Bar Association
The bankruptcy law section of Virginia's voluntary bar association holds annual meetings, hosts continuing legal education events, and comments, reviews, and participates in the legislative and regulatory process on bankruptcy issues. Membership in the Virginia Bar Association is free for students currently attending ABA-accredited schools.

Commercial Law League of America (CLLA)
3005 Tollview Drive
Rolling Meadows, Illinois 60008
tel.: (312) 240-1400
The CLLA is a creditors' rights organization with a membership consisting of attorneys practicing in the fields of commercial law, bankruptcy, and insolvency. CLLA has a Bankruptcy Section that publshes an irregular newsletter and submits position papers and testimony to Congress on bankruptcy issues.

National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA)
2200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Fourth Floor
Washington, DC 20037
tel: 1-800-499-9040

NACBA is an advocacy organization for consumer bankruptcy attorneys. Members have access to NACBA's listserv; monthly newsletter; and a document resource center with model briefs and motions, pleadings, and demand letters submitted by members.

Photo: Associated Press