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Rafael I. Pardo

Robert T. Thompson Professor of Law; Associated Faculty Member, Department of History

Areas of Expertise

Bankruptcy, Commercial Law, Courts and Judges, Legal History


Bankruptcy , Commercial Law: Sales, Secured Transactions


Rafael Pardo specializes in bankruptcy and commercial law, and his scholarship has been published in numerous law journals, including the Alabama Law Review, the Arizona Law Review, the Florida Law Review, the Florida State University Law Review, the Iowa Law Review, the Tulane Law Review, the UCLA Law Review, the Vanderbilt Law Review, the Washington Law Review, the Washington and Lee Law Review, and the William and Mary Law Review. His forthcoming book, The Color of Bankruptcy: Financial Failure and Freedom in the Age of American Slavery (under contract with Columbia University Press), is a history of how antebellum federal bankruptcy law simultaneously suppressed and protected the freedom of Black Americans in a racially capitalist society.

Pardo 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 is an elected member of the American Law Institute, an elected fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and has testified as a bankruptcy expert before both houses of Congress. In 2015, he received the Emory Williams Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest university honor for teaching given by Emory University to a full-time faculty member in recognition of a record of excellence in teaching.

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