January 16, 2013

Indiana Tech Law School Adds Federal Judge to Faculty

Fort Wayne, Ind. — Indiana Tech Law School Dean Peter C. Alexander announced today that United States Bankruptcy Judge Judith Klaswick Fitzgerald, who will be retiring from the federal bench this summer, will join the full-time Indiana Tech Law School faculty. Fitzgerald, a native of Elmora, Penn., currently sits as a bankruptcy judge in Pittsburgh, Penn., and she also holds court in the District of Delaware and in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“Indiana Tech is very excited to have Judge Fitzgerald become a part of our community,” Alexander said. “She is an excellent jurist whom I’ve known, worked with, and respected for many years.”

Fitzgerald was named to the bankruptcy court in 1987, following an impressive term as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Western Pennsylvania. She earned her bachelor’s degree and her law degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

The judge is no stranger to the classroom. She has served as a lecturer on the national, state and local levels for the National Conferences of Bankruptcy Judges, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, and many other organizations. She also has taught bankruptcy and commercial law courses as an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and conducted classes at the Duquesne University School of Law, both in Pittsburgh, and at the University of Miami. Alexander notes that “the judge is very comfortable in the classroom, and our students will benefit from her years of experience training lawyers and law students.”

Fitzgerald is an accomplished scholar as well. She and Alexander co-edited a monograph for the American Bankruptcy Institute on bankruptcy for family law attorneys and she co-wrote a reference book with Ramona Arena Baker entitled “Bankruptcy and Divorce.” She co-edits a national bankruptcy publication, Rutter Group Practice Guide in Bankruptcy, and has just completed a term as an associate editor of The American Bankruptcy Law Journal, a publication of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, an organization for which she served as president. Her accomplishments have been recognized in her election to the American Law Institute and to the American College of Bankruptcy.

Fitzgerald sees becoming a full-time academic as “the next exciting chapter” in her distinguished career. She added, “I have always appreciated how difficult it is for students to learn to think and act like lawyers and for professionals to stay current in their practice areas. I am devoted to finding ways to bridge the gap between the theory of the law and how it plays out in the real world. A primary mission of Indiana Tech Law School is to teach students to comprehend legal theory through clinics, practicums, and in-class assignments—something right in line with what I believe is fundamental to legal education. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity and look forward to meeting the inaugural class.”

Indiana Tech President Arthur Snyder shares Alexander’s enthusiasm regarding Fitzgerald’s addition to the law faculty.

 “Judge Fitzgerald has the ideal experience set for our law school,” Snyder said. “As a federal jurist, she brings an important understanding vital to educating the next generation of lawyers.”

Law school faculty members will begin their official duties in July of 2013. The law school opens its doors to its first student class in August of 2013.


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