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Kenneth N. Klee, School of Law

  • By Lauren Bartlett
  • Published Oct 1, 2004 8:00 AM

Former Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., Howard Weitzman and Gloria Allred all are on the list of California's top 100 lawyers recently published by the Los Angeles Daily Journal, the nation’s largest daily legal newspaper.

UCLA law professor Kenneth N. Klee is on that list as well. The Daily Journal describes Klee as “the man to see on bankruptcy matters.”

Klee, who joined UCLA full time as a professor in 1997, juggles two careers. In addition to teaching at the UCLA School of Law, he is a name partner at the firm Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff & Stern in Los Angeles.

Klee flourishes in his work at UCLA and in the courtroom.

“You have to be willing to work hard and not mind it,” Klee says. “The key is I limit my legal practice to very select matters that generally involve counseling or expert witness or consulting work.”

Under UCLA’s rules, Klee is allowed to consult one day a week during the academic year. Klee teaches courses in business bankruptcy, consumer bankruptcy policy and renegotiating business contracts.

“What I like about teaching is the energy of students and the ability to inspire bright young minds to pursue the law,” Klee sayd. “Having first-hand experience in practice enables me to teach my students from current experience in the trenches. It keeps me very current with hot issues in the law, which I am able to pass onto students in the classroom and use in research and writing, as well.”

Klee specializes in reorganizations of large companies that file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. His clients have included constituencies in the reorganizations of Del Taco, Adelphia Communications and Orion Pictures. The goal in these kinds of cases is for the bankruptcy protection provided by the court to allow the companies to reorganize, rather than go out of business. Klee also has served as an expert witness in more than 40 cases.

Klee earned his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in 1971 and his law degree from Harvard University in 1974. He began teaching at UCLA as an adjunct in 1979, taught at Harvard Law School in 1995-1996 and then joined UCLA full time the following year.

Klee has co-authored two books, “Business Reorganization in Bankruptcy” and “Fundamentals of Bankruptcy Law.”

With his law practice and teaching, Klee gets the best of both worlds.

“There’s nothing quite like the practice of law to provide direct input into how the law is applied in reality,” he says. “Teaching at UCLA provides me with a forum to share ideas with the bright legal minds of the future.”

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