Lawyers consistently ask me why I became a bankruptcy lawyer. If you’re thinking of diving into the field and don’t know if it’s your cup of tea then perhaps these insights will help you.
I treasure making an immediate and tangible difference in people’s lives, right here and right now.
So many worries in life are beyond my scope or simply have no quick fix. I can’t fix ill health, old age, or failed relationships.
Debt troubles are an exception. Bankruptcy is an honorable and long established remedy for bad luck or bad judgment. It allows people to reorient their lives, to lift the shadow of the financial past from their future. I can do that.
I get to meet lots of people with different situations, different problems, different family situations and different goals. The heady thing is that I often have a solution to their financial problems. Also, I am constantly challenged to explain to real people a relatively complex area of law so they can make the base line decisions on what to do.
I also have a chance to deliver financial messages that I think are critical: save for your children’s education, for emergencies, for retirement. Move your financial horizon from the end of the month to the end of your your working life. Don’t assume that life always gets better and that good things will happen to you. Be cautious and prepare to be self reliant.
The intersection of state law and federal law, seen through the prism of people’s lives and businesses, is endlessly complex.
Bankruptcy law presents endless intellectual challenges. Preference payments that are expressly permitted by state law (in California) have far different consequences in bankruptcy law. State law decisions about what the client owns are reflected in federal law.
The complexity of this law, laid over the lives of real people, is fascinating and continues to engage me after more than 30 years. It’s exhilarating to understand an area of law that other, extremely capable lawyers don’t understand.
I continue to grasp complexities and facets of bankruptcy law in my 32nd year of bankruptcy practice that I was oblivious of even 5 years ago. How many of your law school contemporaries are still growing and relishing growing in their field of specialty.
I am also confident that there will always be a market for bankruptcy law. Even in good times, there are failed businesses, failed marriages and instances of failed judgment. In bad times, the need for what I do is multiplied.
Are you a bankruptcy lawyer? If so, why? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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