Rafael Pardo


Robert T. Thompson Professor of Law

Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Expertise:
Bankruptcy, Commercial Law


Professor Rafael Pardo, who joined the Emory Law faculty in 2012, specializes in bankruptcy and commercial law. His scholarship has been published in numerous law journals, including the Alabama Law Review, the Iowa Law Review, the UCLA Law Review, the Vanderbilt Law Review, the Washington and Lee Law Review, and the William and Mary Law Review. His scholarship has also been cited by various federal courts, including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit, the U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panels of the 8th and 10th Circuits, and several U.S. Bankruptcy Courts. Professor Pardo is a frequent presenter at conferences and has participated in educational programs organized by the Federal Judicial Center for bankruptcy judges and other bankruptcy court officials.

Professor Pardo began his academic career in 2003 at Tulane University, where he was associate professor of Law from 2003 to 2006. Most recently, he was professor of law and director of the Bankruptcy Client Representation Project at the University of Washington School of Law, where he was a recipient of the Pro Bono Faculty of the Year Award in 2012.

Prior to entering academia, Professor Pardo worked as an associate in the Business Reorganization and Restructuring Group of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in New York. He also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Prudence Carter Beatty of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. He received his J.D. from New York University School of Law, where he served as an executive editor of the New York University Law Review and was a recipient of the Judge John J. Galgay Fellowship in Bankruptcy and Reorganization Law. He received his B.A. in history from Yale College.

Professor Pardo is an elected member of the American Law Institute. He has testified as a bankruptcy expert before both houses of Congress and has been quoted in the Chicago Tribune, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the National Law Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal.

Education: JD, New York University School of Law; BA in history, Yale College.


Rafael Pardo

Selected Publications

The Undue Hardship Thicket: On Access to Justice, Procedural Noncompliance, and Pollutive Litigation in Bankruptcy, 66 Fla. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2014) 

Rethinking the Principal-Agent Theory of Judging, 99 Iowa L. Rev. 331 (2013) (with Jonathan R. Nash)

The Structural Exceptionalism of Bankruptcy Administration, 60 UCLA L. Rev. 384 (2012) (with Kathryn A. Watts)

Does Ideology Matter in Bankruptcy? Voting Behavior on the Courts of Appeals, 53 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 919 (2012) (with Jonathan R. Nash)

Reconceptualizing Present-Value Analysis in Consumer Bankruptcy, 68 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 113 (2011)

An Empirical Examination of Access to Chapter 7 Relief by Pro Se Debtors, 26 Emory Bankr. Dev. J. 5 (2009)

Setting the Record Straight: A Sur-Reply to Professors Lawless et al., 33 Seattle U. L. Rev. 93 (2009)

Failing to Answer Whether Bankruptcy Reform Failed: A Critique of the First Report from the 2007 Consumer Bankruptcy Project, 83 Am. Bankr. L.J. 27 (2009)

The Real Student-Loan Scandal: Undue Hardship Discharge Litigation, 83 Am. Bankr. L.J. 179 (2009) (with Michelle R. Lacey)

The Utility of Opacity in Judicial Selection, 64 N.Y.U. Ann. Surv. Am. L. 633 (2009) (symposium issue)

An Empirical Investigation into Appellate Structure and the Perceived Quality of Appellate Review, 61 Vand. L. Rev. 1745 (2008) (with Jonathan R. Nash)

Illness and Inability to Repay: The Role of Debtor Health in the Discharge of Educational Debt, 35 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 505 (2008)

Eliminating the Judicial Function in Consumer Bankruptcy, 81 Am. Bankr. L.J. 471 (2007)

Undue Hardship in the Bankruptcy Courts: An Empirical Assessment of the Discharge of Educational Debt, 74 U. Cin. L. Rev. 405 (2005) (with Michelle R. Lacey)

On Proof of Preferential Effect, 55 Ala. L. Rev. 281 (2004)


Rafael Pardo

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