Professor Lois Lupica, Resident Scholar, Spring 2007
Prof. Lois R. Lupica is the Maine Law Foundation Professor of Law at the University of Maine School of Law in Portland, where she teaches bankruptcy, secured transactions, commercial and consumer arbitration, and professional responsibility. Prior to becoming a professor in 1995, she practiced law at both Arnold & Porter LLP and White & Case LLP in New York. She is actively involved in numerous professional and academic organizations. A Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, Prof. Lupica is on the advisory board for the ABI Law Review as well as for The Journal of Bankruptcy Law & Practice, and she was ABI's spring 2007 resident scholar. She was appointed as the first Class of 1973/Glassman Faculty Research Scholar at Maine Law, was awarded the Faculty Senate Award for Excellence in Scholarship in 2004 and the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges Fellowship in 2001, and received an honorable mention for the National Award for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching Professionalism, sponsored by the ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism and the Conference of Chief Justices in 2005. She has served as dean of faculty and as a member of the Executive Board of the American Board of Certification, and she has been a co-coach and faculty advisor for the Duberstein Moot Court Competition in New York since 2005. Prof. Lupica served as the reporter for the Maine Task Force on Ethics 2000 from 2005-08. She is currently the principal investigator of a National Study of the Consumer Bankruptcy System, funded by ABI and the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges. She received her B.S. in consumer economics and housing from Cornell University and her J.D. magna cum laude from Boston University School of Law.
Resident Scholar Letter
During the Spring 2007 semester, I followed in the footsteps of many of my friends and colleagues, serving as the twelfth ABI Robert M. Zinman Scholar in Residence. The experience as Resident Scholar was interesting, educational, and lots of fun. I had the pleasure of getting to know the dedicated, talented and oft-time irreverent ABI staff - both in and out of the office. This is a group of people who take their jobs, their softball and their next meal very seriously. I do hope the future Resident Scholars make at least as vital a contribution to the team, "Going for Broke" as I did this semester (didn't quite make it to bat, but I did walk away with a jersey). I shall also miss the regular in-house e-mails announcing the presence of chocolate cake, or "goodies from Poland" in the kitchen. My law school should take a page from their book . . .
As was the case with my predecessors, my job responsibilities varied from week to week, but rarely a day went by when I didn't speak to members of the media about a recent bankruptcy related development, a new bankruptcy case, or about an economic, sociological or political trend and its impact on bankruptcy filings. I appreciated the professionalism of the reporters, and their interest in "getting it right," even when the issue being discussed was complex and esoteric. On behalf of ABI, I was quoted in scores of stories over the past months.
I also had the opportunity to work with the publications' staff and ABI authors on a variety of editing projects. I would like to express my thanks to the dedicated authors who tolerated my editorial \"suggestions\" with good grace and a sense of humor. I also put my rusty graphics skills to work on updating the Nuts and Bolts conference materials and slides.
I spent some time consulting with the IT staff about a variety of substantive Website improvements and conducted peer reviews of two empirical studies of new BAPCPA provisions. Now that the issue of consumer over-indebtedness garnered the attention of legislators, a series of Congressional Hearings on credit card and other fringe banking practices and their impact on consumers were held. I attended a number of these hearings and wrote articles for the electronic ABI Update newsletter on this issue and on a myriad of other current cases and developments. I also crafted many of the recent Quick Poll questions.
The Podcast Project (brainchild of ABI staffer Karim Guirguis) was one of my favorite projects this term. I endeavored to develop an "author series," interviewing a variety of scholars and experts whose work I admired. I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Robert Manning, (Credit Card Nation), Anya Kamenetz (Generation Debt), Professor Thomas Ward (Intellectual Property in Commerce) and Dr. Karen Gross (Failure and Forgiveness), among others. It was not only fascinating to explore a variety of issues with some very smart and thoughtful people, it also gave me a renewed respect for the skills Terri Gross, and others journalists like her, bring to their jobs.
I appreciated the opportunity as Resident Scholar to meet and work with a broad range of ABI members from around the country. I attended and/or spoke at three ABI conferences: The Rocky Mountain Bankruptcy Conference, and the Annual Spring Meeting, Bankruptcy Fundamentals: Nuts & Bolts for New and Young Practitioners and the New York City Nuts and Bolts program. At these conferences, I had the pleasure and the privilege to share conversations, and the podium with some very impressive members of the bankruptcy bench and bar. I also attended the quarter-final, semi-final and final Conrad R. Duberstein Moot Court Competition arguments and Banquet. It was both gratifying and humbling to see such excellence in oral advocacy from so many law students.
Before my tenure as Resident Scholar began, I committed to teach a class at my law school. I designed a course called "Hot Topics in Bankruptcy," with the ABI Journal as the assigned "text." In order to give the students access to a variety of bankruptcy-related resources, a further requirement of enrollment was a membership in ABI. My experiences as ABI's Resident Scholar enabled me to bring a very practical and current dimension to the classroom. The students deemed the course to be a success.
This past semester has been an enriching personal and professional experience for me. It has been heartening to be a part of an organization that has such a dedicated and loyal membership. I extend my admiration and thanks to Executive Director Sam Gerdano for overseeing such a successful enterprise. As Resident Scholar, it was an honor to make even a small contribution to ABI's mission and I am grateful to have been granted this opportunity.
I offer a warm welcome the next Resident Scholar, Professor Mark S. Scarberry of Pepperdine University School of Law.
Lois R. Lupica
Professor of Law
University of Maine School of Law