Memphis Law proudly welcomes Professors Adam Feibelman and Demetria Frank as our visiting Herff Chairs of Excellence this spring.

Professor Feibelman joins Memphis Law from Tulane University Law School, where he serves as the Sumter Davis Marks Professor of Law and as Director of the Center on Law and the Economy. 

Professor Feibelman is a renowned international financial and bankruptcy law expert and will pursue two related research projects as part of his time at Memphis Law. One takes inspiration from an important study and article titled, Race, Attorney Influence, and Bankruptcy Chapter Choice, which examined the significant disparity of experience among consumer bankruptcy filers in the United States based on their racial identities.  Professor Feibelman will examine the unique bankruptcy-related trends found in Memphis and the Western District of Tennessee in order to study the determinants of bankruptcy chapter choice and the possible impact of race on those determinants. Secondly, Professor Feibelman will undertake a historical examination of Walter Chandler and his role in the early origins of Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chandler represented Memphis in Congress during the 1930’s and sponsored the Chandler Act, which created what eventually became known as Chapter 13.  Professor Feibelman’s research will help reveal much about the deep original political economy of Chapter 13 and  more about the role of race in promoting its inception and determining its design.

An April 2023 symposium presented by Professor Feibelman will focus on his research conducted as Herff Chair at Memphis Law and will be an important component of his work this semester.

Professor Frank has most recently been a highly regarded member of the faculty at the University of Memphis School of Law, designing, implementing, and overseeing the law schools’ array of award-winning diversity and inclusion initiatives. In her new role as a visiting Herff Chair of Excellence, Professor Frank will focus her research on documenting these very same innovative diversity programs implemented at Memphis Law and beyond. 

Prior to assuming the duties of the Herff Chair, Professor Frank served as Associate Dean for Diversity & Inclusion at Memphis Law and as the Program’s director for three years prior to that. Under her leadership, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion became a vital institutional resource to faculty, staff and students for issues regarding climate and equity. She also built a number of successful pipeline programs to the law school, including our Bass, Berry, & Sims Summer Trial and Advocacy Institute and the LSAC Plus Program. Additionally, Professor Frank worked diligently to continue the growth of the law school’s longstanding Tennessee Institute for PreLaw (TIP) program, with consistently strong enrollment and retention year over year.

As part of her work as Herff Chair, Professor Frank will present a symposium on February 3, titled “Teaching Bias, Cultural Competency, and Racism in Law Schools.” The symposium will focus on how law schools will meet the requirements set forth by the American Bar Association’s new standard 303(c), the challenges they might encounter implementing the standard, the attacks on critical race theory, and more.