Faculty Profiles

Rafael I. Pardo

Rafael I. Pardo

Robert T. Thompson Professor of Law

Areas of Expertise

Bankruptcy, Commercial Law, Courts and Judges

Curriculum Vitae

Assistant: Linda Jackson

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 US Courts of Appeals for the 1st and 9th Circuits, the US Bankruptcy Appellate Panels of the 8th and 10th Circuits, and several US 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. Prior to joining the Emory Law faculty, 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.

Before 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 US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. He received his JD 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 BA 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 various media outlets, including 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, Yale College

Journal Articles

"The Undue Hardship Thicket: On Access to Justice, Procedural Noncompliance, and Pollutive Litigation in Bankruptcy," 66 Florida Law Review (forthcoming 2014).

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

"The Structural Exceptionalism of Bankruptcy Administration," 60 UCLA Law Review 384 (2012) (with Kathryn A. Watts).

"Does Ideology Matter in Bankruptcy? Voting Behavior on the Courts of Appeals," 53 William & Mary Law Review 919 (2012) (with Jonathan R. Nash).

"Reconceptualizing Present-Value Analysis in Consumer Bankruptcy," 68 Washington & Lee Law Review 113 (2011).

Congressional Testimony

Hearing of the Senate Impeachment Trial Committee on the Articles Against Judge G. Thomas Porteous, Jr., 111th Congress (September 16, 2010).

An Undue Hardship? Discharging Educational Debt in Bankruptcy: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law of the House Committee on the Judiciary, 111th Congress (September 23, 2009).

Amicus Briefs

Brief for Bankruptcy Law Scholars as Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioner, Law v. Siegel, No. 12-5196 (U.S. Sept. 3, 2013).

Brief for Amicus Curiae Professor Rafael I. Pardo in Support of Neither Party, United Student Aid Funds, Inc. v. Espinosa, 130 S. Ct. 1367 (2010) (No. 08- 1134), 2009 WL 2875368.


The Undue Hardship Thicket: "On Access to Justice, Procedural Noncompliance, and Pollutive Litigation in Bankruptcy,” Research Symposium on Student Loans, Suffolk University Law School (April 11, 2014).

"Mistake and Misbehavior in Undue Hardship Discharge Litigation," Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association, Boston, Massachusetts (June 2, 2013).

"Mistake and Misbehavior in Undue Hardship Discharge Litigation," Frank W. Koger Bankruptcy Symposium, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Missouri, Kansas City, Missouri (May 31, 2013).

"Rethinking the Principal-Agent Theory of Judging," Annual Meeting of the American Law and Economics Association, Vanderbilt University Law School (May 17, 2013) (co-presented with Jonathan R. Nash).

Media Appearances

Natalie Kitroeff, Student Loan Monitor’s Tactics on Bankruptcy Draw Criticism, N.Y. TIMES, Jan. 2, 2014, at A1.

Jay Horowitz, Asset Sales, Evidence, Student Loans Are Hot Topics at Judges’ Conference, 25 Bankr. L. Rep. (BNA) 1525 (Nov. 6, 2013).

Charlie Wells, If Your Child Drops Out of College, You May Get Your Money Back. Or Not..., WALL ST. J., Sept. 19, 2013, at R5.

Vinnie Politan, Making It in America, HLN, Jan. 28, 2013.