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Bankruptcy Attorney


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Summary: Learn more about what it is like to be a Bankruptcy attorney in this article.

What Does a Bankruptcy Attorney Do?

  • The practice area focuses on what happens when individuals or companies experience financial difficulties and go bankrupt.
  • Bankruptcy law provides for the development of a plan that allows a debtor to resolve debts through the division of assets among creditors.
  • There are different bankruptcy proceedings available to debtors, including reorganization and dissolution.
  • Bankruptcy cases are litigated in the United States Bankruptcy Courts, and cases are filed under Chapters 7, 11, 12, and 13.
  • This practice can involve counseling clients that are considering going bankrupt, as well as representing clients that are in bankruptcy.
  • The work involves litigation-related tasks, drafting various loan agreements, restructuring documents, and similar documents.
  • Attorneys can also go to trial in these cases; however, the trials are not standard jury trials.
  • This is also a countercyclical practice area that is busiest when the economy is at its worst.

Why Do Bankruptcy Attorneys Enjoy Their Jobs?
  • This is a good practice area for people who enjoy negotiation and gamesmanship.
  • There is a lot of deal making done in this practice area, and attorneys tend to do more business-oriented work than general litigation attorneys.
  • Attorneys in this practice area also have more marketable skills than many other types of attorneys because there is a lot of very specialized learning for attorneys to master before they become bankruptcy attorneys.
What Are the Difficulties of Being a Bankruptcy Attorney?
  • Attorneys who do not enjoy bankruptcy typically do not enjoy litigation, the complexity of the work or the fact that the fast-moving cases can demand long hours and a massive amount of time.
  • Attorneys become frustrated by this practice area because judges have a great deal of discretion regarding the arguments they will hear and attorneys need to frequently defend against meritless arguments.
How Easy Is It to Move Laterally as a Bankruptcy Attorney?
  • This is a good practice area because it is a relatively small bar and in addition to major law firms, there are also much smaller and well-regarded boutiques that do this work as well.
  • This is a countercyclical practice area, and this means that when the economy is good, it can be difficult for these attorneys to find work. In fact, in all but the [worst] economies, bankruptcy attorneys worry about work.
  • A major drawback of this practice area is that there are consistently very few jobs and it tends to be very difficult for attorneys to move laterally and searches often take some time.
  • On the flip side, most bankruptcy attorneys always end up getting jobs because while firms may move slowly, there is always some place that will hire them.
  • Most large, general practice law firms maintain at least one or two bankruptcy attorneys in most of their offices when they get over 100 attorneys, because work comes in and they could always get a big case.
  • At the senior level, there is some stability that attorneys get in larger law firms because they always want to have someone around.
  • Most of the significant work is done in New York, and smaller markets are more difficult to get jobs in.
See the current Bankruptcy job openings we are recruiting for here: Bankruptcy Attorney Jobs

Bankruptcy Case Studies

About Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes is a prominent figure in the legal placement industry, known for his expertise in attorney placements and his extensive knowledge of the legal profession.

With over 25 years of experience, he has established himself as a leading voice in the field and has helped thousands of lawyers and law students find their ideal career paths.

Barnes is a former federal law clerk and associate at Quinn Emanuel and a graduate of the University of Chicago College and the University of Virginia Law School. He was a Rhodes Scholar Finalist at the University of Chicago and a member of the University of Virginia Law Review. Early in his legal career, he enrolled in Stanford Business School but dropped out because he missed legal recruiting too much.

Barnes' approach to the legal industry is rooted in his commitment to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. He believes that the key to success in the legal profession is to be proactive, persistent, and disciplined in one's approach to work and life. He encourages lawyers to take ownership of their careers and to focus on developing their skills and expertise in a way that aligns with their passions and interests.

One of how Barnes provides support to lawyers is through his writing. On his blog,, and, he regularly shares his insights and advice on a range of topics related to the legal profession. Through his writing, he aims to empower lawyers to control their careers and make informed decisions about their professional development.

One of Barnes's fundamental philosophies in his writing is the importance of networking. He believes that networking is a critical component of career success and that it is essential for lawyers to establish relationships with others in their field. He encourages lawyers to attend events, join organizations, and connect with others in the legal community to build their professional networks.

Another central theme in Barnes' writing is the importance of personal and professional development. He believes that lawyers should continuously strive to improve themselves and develop their skills to succeed in their careers. He encourages lawyers to pursue ongoing education and training actively, read widely, and seek new opportunities for growth and development.

In addition to his work in the legal industry, Barnes is also a fitness and lifestyle enthusiast. He sees fitness and wellness as integral to his personal and professional development and encourages others to adopt a similar mindset. He starts his day at 4:00 am and dedicates several daily hours to running, weightlifting, and pursuing spiritual disciplines.

Finally, Barnes is a strong advocate for community service and giving back. He volunteers for the University of Chicago, where he is the former area chair of Los Angeles for the University of Chicago Admissions Office. He also serves as the President of the Young Presidents Organization's Century City Los Angeles Chapter, where he works to support and connect young business leaders.

In conclusion, Harrison Barnes is a visionary legal industry leader committed to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. Through his work at BCG Attorney Search, writing, and community involvement, he empowers lawyers to take control of their careers, develop their skills continuously, and lead fulfilling and successful lives. His philosophy of being proactive, persistent, and disciplined, combined with his focus on personal and professional development, makes him a valuable resource for anyone looking to succeed in the legal profession.

About BCG Attorney Search

BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive, while achieving results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit

Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays

You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts

You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives

Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.

Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.

To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.

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