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Robert M. Zinman

Adjunct Professor

Founder, LL.M. in Bankruptcy Program, and Professor of Law (Ret.)

Professor Zinman retired as a full time tenured professor of law as of July 31, 2007 but remains as an Adjunct Professor of Law, teaching “Real Estate Workouts and Bankruptcy” in the LL.M. in Bankruptcy program.  During his 19 years as a full-time professor, he taught courses in bankruptcy, property and real estate transactions. He was the Founder and first director of the St. John's Master of Laws Program in Bankruptcy.

Professor Zinman previously served as President and Chairman of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the largest organization of insolvency professionals in the world, with over 11000 members. The American Bankruptcy Institute has named its scholar-in-residence program in Professor Zinman’s honor. Professor Zinman is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, where he served for three years as a Governor. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Real Property Section of the New York State Bar Association, where he serves as Co-Chair of the Real Property Workouts and Bankruptcy Committee and as Chair of the Task Force on Adverse Possession.  He is a member of the American Law Institute and was designated a Life Member in 2007.

Professor Zinman previously served as a member of the Council of the Section of Real Property Probate and Trust Law of the American Bar Association; as Chair of the American Bar Association's Ad Hoc Committee to Study the Federal Priority in Insolvency; as a member of the Joint Editorial Board for the Uniform Real Property Acts; as an Advisor for the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act and the Restatement of Property, Third -- Mortgages; and as Chair of the Section of Post-Graduate Legal Education of the Association of American Law Schools.

Author of numerous articles and a frequent speaker in the areas of real estate and bankruptcy, Professor Zinman is co-author (with professors Bender, Hammond and Madison) of MODERN REAL ESTATE FINANCE AND LAND TRANSFER (4th ed. 2008).

Professor Zinman joined the faculty in 1998 after serving at Metropolitan Life Insurance Company as Vice-President and Investment Counsel. While at MetLife, he served as Chairman of the life insurance industry's bankruptcy legislation committee and participated in the drafting of the Bankruptcy Code and its amendments. He was Chairman of the Investment Section of the Association of Life Insurance Counsel. While practicing law, he was an Adjunct Professor at Fordham and New York University Schools of Law.

At St. John's, Professor Zinman started, and was first Director of the LL.M. in Bankruptcy Program, the only such program in the nation, which admitted its first students in 1999.  He also served as a Faculty Advisor for the AMERICAN BANKRUPTCY INSTITUTE LAW REVIEW, widely regarded as the preeminent bankruptcy scholarly journal, which is edited by the students at St. John's; He was also faculty advisor for the Real Property Law Society; the Bankruptcy Law Society; and the Chief Judge Conrad B. Duberstein National Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition (hosted annually by St. John's and the American Bankruptcy Institute). In 2006, a privately endowed scholarship was established in his honor which provides a scholarship each year to an LL.M. in Bankruptcy student. 

Professor Zinman teaches Real Estate Workouts and Bankruptcy.