Jay L. Westbrook

  • Benno C. Schmidt Chair of Business Law


  • JD University of Texas at Austin
  • BA University of Texas at Austin

One of the nation's most distinguished scholars in the field of bankruptcy, he has been a pioneer in this area in two respects: empirical research and international/comparative studies. Professor Westbrook also teaches and writes in commercial law and international business litigation. He practiced in all these areas for more than a decade with Surrey & Morse (now part of Jones, Day) in Washington, D.C., where he was a partner, before joining the faculty in 1980. He is co-author of The Law of Debtors and Creditors (Aspen, 7th ed., 2014); As We Forgive Our Debtors: Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit in America (Oxford, 1989); The Fragile Middle Class (Yale, 2000); and A Global View of Business Insolvency Systems (Martinus Nijhoff 2010). He has been Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School and the University of London, and is a member of the American Law Institute, the National Bankruptcy Conference, and the American College of Bankruptcy. He serves as a consultant to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. He was the United States Reporter for the ALI's Transnational Insolvency Project and co-head of the United States delegation to the UN (UNCITRAL) conference that created the Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency. He is an emeritus director of the International Insolvency Institute and a director and former President of the International Academy of Commercial and Consumer Law. He has been the recipient of outstanding contribution awards from the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, the International Insolvency Institute, and the American College of Bankruptcy. He has twice been named the Outstanding Teacher at the University of Texas School of Law.

Recent Publications

  • Corporate Formalism in a Global Economy, in Annual Review of Insolvency Law, 311 (Janis P. Sarra & Barbara Romaine, eds., Carswell, 2015).
  • Commercial Law and the Public Interest, 4 Penn State Journal of Law & International Affairs 445 (2015).
  • Interpretation Internationale, 87 Temple Law Review 739 (2015).

Full list of publications…

Recent Activities

  • The Duberstein National Moot Court Team

    March 5, 2016 – March 7, 2016

    New Orleans & NYC

    Advisor (Annual)

  • American Bankruptcy Institute

    December 5, 2015

    Phoenix, AZ

    Secured Credit in the International Arena - Moderator and Presenter

  • Young Scholars Conference

    November 20, 2015

    Brooklyn Law School


Full activities list…