Ralph Brubaker

Carl L. Vacketta Professor 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 2008-2009 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 teaching courses in bankruptcy, bankruptcy procedure, corporate finance, business associations, and contracts, and serving as the faculty adviser to the Bankruptcy Developments Journal at the School of Law at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia for 10 years. 

After earning an undergraduate degree with Bronze Tablet distinction at Illinois, he passed the C.P.A. exam before pursuing a dual J.D./M.B.A. degree. Professor Brubaker received his J.D. 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 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 numerous articles exploring the complex jurisdictional and procedural facets 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).

He is the editor-in-chief and contributing author of the Bankruptcy Law Letter (West Group) and serves on the editorial advisory board for the American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review. Professor Brubaker also serves on the executive committee of the board of directors for the American Bankruptcy Institute and is a member of the advisory board for the St. John’s University School of Law, Bankruptcy LL.M. Program.