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W&L Law’s Margaret Howard Receives Inaugural Braucher Award from ABI

Margaret Howard, Law Alumni Association Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law, has been named the recipient of the Jean Braucher Memorial Award from the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI).

The award honors Prof. Jean Braucher, the Roger C. Henderson Professor of Law at the University of Arizona and former ABI Resident Scholar, who died in 2014.  Braucher was a national leader and scholar in the field of consumer bankruptcy law and contracts. She authored more than 50 articles, books and book chapters, and was known among academics as a pioneer thinker in the “law in action” tradition.

Howard, who is the inaugural recipient, was elected unanimously to receive the award. According to the ABI, the award will be bestowed each year on a full­‐time academic member of the ABI or a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge who best embodies Braucher’s personal and professional qualities and whose contribution and work serves to advance knowledge, thinking and improvement of the consumer bankruptcy system.

“To be thought of for this award is something I particularly cherish because Jean was much more than a creative and insightful scholar,” said Howard. “She was also a dear friend and one of the people I most admired.  The community of bankruptcy scholars is close-knit, and Jean’s passing has left a big hole in our hearts.  It is a huge honor to have my name linked with hers.”

The ABI is the country’s largest multi-disciplinary, non-partisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. Howard was the ABI Scholar-in-Residence in 2002 and was named to the ABI’s board of directors in 2006.

In 2009 Howard began a three-year term as vice president, executive committee member and chair of the Research Grants Committee. She is currently working on a major empirical study for the ABI examining, among other issues, how and why individuals decide between Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 when filing for bankruptcy.

Howard received her undergraduate degree from Duke University and her J.D. from Washington University. She also received an LL.M degree from Yale University. From 1981 to 2001, Howard was a member of the faculty at Vanderbilt University School of Law.

Howard will receive the Braucher award at the ABI meeting in December.