The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

Main menu:

November 30, 2009

Peenesh Shah receives a 2009 Medal of Excellence in Bankruptcy Award from the American Bankruptcy Institute

Photo of Larry Sager, Peenesh Shaw, and Jay Westbrook

Dean Larry Sager (left) presenting the award to UT law student Peenesh Shaw (center) with Professor Jay Westbrook.

Peenesh Shah, a third-year University of Texas School of Law student, has been awarded a 2009 Medal of Excellence in Bankruptcy from the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI).

The organization gives the medal to one student annually at each participating law school around the country. The ABI’s Medal of Excellence Program honors top law students for their achievements in the field of bankruptcy as selected by deans and bankruptcy law faculty. In addition to an engraved medal, winners receive a certificate signed by the ABI president and a one-year membership.

UT Law School Dean Larry Sager presented the ABI medal and a certificate to Shah in a private ceremony last month at the Law School. Professors Mechele Dickerson, Angela Littwin, and Jay Westbrook of the Law School’s bankruptcy faculty nominated Shah for this honor.

“Mr. Shah is an outstanding student who will make an important contribution to the development of bankruptcy law and practice,” Westbrook said.

Shah made high grades in his commercial law courses, including winning the Dean’s Achievement Award for the highest grade in Secured Credit (UCC Article 9). He also provided outstanding research assistance in the area of bankruptcy for Westbrook.

After he graduates this May, Shah will be clerking for U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Raymond Lyons in New Jersey. Originally from the Boston area and a former Army medic, Shah said he plans to practice commercial litigation and bankruptcy law in the Pacific Northwest.

This is the fifth year that the Law School has particpated in this ABI program, which was started in 1998 and is administered by the ABI’s Law School Committee. Westbrook said that for a student to be considered for nomination, the student must show a strong performance in bankruptcy and other commercial law courses, a real interest in the field, and often participation in extracurricular activities such as the National Bankruptcy Moot Court.

The American Bankruptcy Institute is the largest multidisciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. The ABI membership includes more than twelve thousand attorneys, auctioneers, bankers, judges, lenders, professors, turnaround specialists, accountants, and other bankruptcy professionals.

Contact: Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, (512) 471.7330 or