Katherine Porter

Professor of Law

Katherine Porter's image

Bankruptcy, commercial law, consumer law, mortgage foreclosure, credit and debit cards, empirical studies of legal systems


Professor Porter’s research focuses on empirical studies of consumer bankruptcy and has been published in journals including the Texas Law Review, the Georgetown Law Journal, the American Bankruptcy Law Journal, and the Cornell Law Review. She is a co-author of textbook, The Law of Debtors and Creditors (Wolters Kluwer 2014), and the editor of Broke: How Debt Bankrupts the Middle Class (Stanford Press 2012).

In March 2012, Professor Porter was appointed by California Attorney General Kamala Harris to be the state’s independent monitor of banks in a nationwide $25 billion mortgage settlement. As Monitor, she oversaw the banks’ implementation of the settlement reforms and conducted extensive community outreach and education. The Monitor Program reviewed and responded to over 5,000 complaints and intervened with the banks in hundreds of situations. Professor Porter founded a Consumer Protection Clinic at UCI Law to involve students in the Monitor’s work.

Professor Porter has been a principal investigator in several original empirical projects, including the 2007 Consumer Bankruptcy Project and the Mortgage Study. She recently launched an ongoing data collection with Professors Lawless and Thorne on families filing bankruptcy in 2013 and subsequent years. In 2012, Professor Porter served as a member of the Task Force Working Group on Natural Persons’ Insolvency for the World Bank Insolvency and Creditor/Debtor regime. Professor Porter has received awards for her academic and service work, including selection as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California in 2012, receipt of the Champion of Consumer Rights Award from the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, and the award of the Editors' Prize from the American Bankruptcy Law Journal for best article.

Professor Porter previously was on the faculty at the University of Iowa College of Law and has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, UC Berkeley Law, the University of Illinois College of Law, and the UNLV Boyd School of Law. She practiced bankruptcy law in Portland, Oregon, and clerked for the Honorable Richard S. Arnold of the Eighth Circuit. She earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her B.A. from Yale University.

Current Courses:

Bankruptcy Law, Business Colloquium, Consumer Law

Prior Courses

Consumer Bankruptcy Seminar, Consumer Law, Secured Transactions, Bankruptcy, Credit Cards, Consumer Protection Clinic

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