Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal

Introduction: A Tribute to Professor Marjorie L. Girth
Armstead C. Lewis Editor-in-Chief, Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal.

Each year, the Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal honors an individual who has made a significant impact on the field of insolvency law by presenting them with the Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement. Past recipients of the Distinguished Service Award include: The Honorable William L. Norton, Jr. (1999); Kenneth N. Klee (2000); Frank R. Kennedy (2001); Harvey R. Miller (2002); The Honorable David H. Coar (2003); Gerald K. Smith (2004); The Honorable Conrad B. Duberstein (2005); Senator Dennis W. DeConcini (2006); The Honorable W. Homer Drake, Jr. (2007); Douglas G. Baird (2008); Senator Elizabeth Warren (2009); Barry W. Ridings (2010); Tony Alvarez II and Bryan Marsal (2011); Justice Geoffrey B. Morawetz (2012); Richard Levin (2013); and Professor David Epstein (2014). On April 2, 2015, we presented Marjorie Girth with the Seventeenth Annual Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Marjorie Girth is the former dean and a current professor of law emerita at Georgia State University’s College of Law where she has taught courses in bankruptcy, contracts, commercial law, professional responsibility, and women’s rights. Prior to teaching at Georgia State’s College of Law, Professor Girth taught at SUNY Buffalo Law School. Professor Girth joined the Buffalo Law School faculty in 1971 where she chaired the New York State Bar Association’s Banking, Corporation and Business Law Section and was a member of the American Bar Association’s Council of the Business Law Section. Professor Girth was the first woman to receive tenure at Buffalo Law School and taught there until 1991. Professor Girth also has served as a visiting professor at the University of Virginia School of Law and Emory University School of Law.

In 1992, Professor Girth joined Georgia State’s College of Law and became the law school’s dean, serving in that capacity until 1996. After serving as dean, Professor Girth returned to full-time teaching.

Professor Girth has written numerous articles and books on bankruptcy and consumer bankruptcy reform including her well-known empirical study of the bankruptcy system published in book form in 1971 titled Bankruptcy: Problem, Process, Reform, which she co-authored with David T. Stanley. This book contained some of the first extensive empirical studies of the bankruptcy system. She has also provided expert testimony before the House and the Senate Judiciary Committees on consumer bankruptcy and the Bankruptcy Reform Act. Professor Girth also serves on the Georgia Supreme Court’s Commission on Access and Fairness in the Courts.

Professor Girth received an A.B. from Mount Holyoke College and a LL.B. from Harvard Law School. She has permitted us to include a revised version of her acceptance speech from when we presented her with the Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement in this Issue of our Journal. The Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal is delighted to be able to give Professor Girth this award that signifies our appreciation for her tremendous contributions to the community, academia, and the practice of insolvency law. Please join use in celebrating the significant accomplishments of Professor Marjorie L. Girth.


Editor-in-Chief, Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal.