Commercial Law League of America Announces 2021 Lawrence P. King Award Recipient


Rolling Meadows, IL – March 25, 2021 – The Commercial Law League of America (CLLA) and its Bankruptcy Section are pleased to announce that they will present the Lawrence P. King Award to the Honorable Laura Taylor Swain at the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (NCBJ) in Indianapolis, IN on October 7, 2021.


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The King Award: Each year, the Executive Council of the Commercial Law League’s Bankruptcy Section presents the Lawrence P. King Award to recognize a lawyer, judge, teacher or legislator who exemplifies the best in scholarship, advocacy, judicial administration or legislative activities in the field of bankruptcy. The award is designed to recognize the lifetime achievements of Professor King, which include contributing to the practice of bankruptcy law through teaching, by working to elevate the profession and through bankruptcy-related legislative activities.   


This year’s recipient — Honorable Laura Taylor Swain — graduated from Hunter College High School in New York City in 1975; and earned her B.A. degree in government from Harvard-Radcliffe College in 1979; and her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1982.

Swain clerked for Chief Judge Constance Baker Motley on the US District Court for the Southern District of New York from 1982 to 1983. Swain then worked as an associate, and then as counsel, with Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, where she focused on ERISA, employee benefits, fiduciary litigation, executive compensation and employment law. In 1996, Swain was appointed as a judge to the US Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York. In 1998, she became a founding board member of the Coalition for Consumer Bankruptcy Debtor Education and, in 2000, was appointed by President Clinton to the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, where Swain has presided over numerous high-profile matters. In 2017, Chief Justice Roberts appointed Swain to oversee the debt restructuring cases in the Puerto Rican government-debt crisis. Swain will become the Chief Judge of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York later this year.


Swain has received numerous awards throughout her legal career, including the Trailblazer Award, the Servant of Justice Award, and the Cecilia H. Goetz Award, and the Edward Weinfeld Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Administration of Justice. She also served as the Donahue Lecturer of Suffolk University Law School in 2003. Swain served on the New York State Board of Law Examiners from 1986 to 1996, making her the first woman, and the first person of color, to serve in that capacity. She chaired the Advisory Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States on the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure between 2007 and 2010. She received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts, in 2008.


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About the CLLA

Since 1895, the not-for-profit Commercial Law League of America has connected experienced attorneys with credit grantors, lending institutions and other commercial credit, bankruptcy and general finance industry members through networking, education, legislative advocacy and specialized legal services. The association’s members include attorneys, collection agencies, judges, accountants, trustees, turnaround managers and other credit and finance experts. For more information on the CLLA, please visit


For additional information about this event or the Commercial Law League of America, contact Dawn Federico at or by calling 312-240-1400.