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Francis Kirkham was born in Utah in 1904. After earning his undergraduate and law degrees from George Washington University, Kirkham clerked for two Supreme Court Justices, including former Chief Justice Evan Hughes. During his time as a law clerk, Kirkham drafted a report suggesting revisions to the way people filed for bankruptcy, which was a pertinent issue in the wake of the Great Depression. This report, "Suggested Revisions to the General Orders and Forms of Bankruptcy," was published in 1939.
Kirkham joined the law firm of Pillsbury Madison and Sutro in 1936, becoming a partner in 1940. He remained there until his retirement.
During his career, Kirkham served on many legal boards and committees. He was Chair of the antitrust section of the American Bar Association, and he was appointed to the National Commission on the Revision of the Federal Appellate System in the 1970s.
Kirkham died in 1996.
The Francis R. Kirkham Law Clerk Papers, circa 1935-1939, include correspondence with Supreme Court Justices, drafts, reports, National Bankruptcy Conference drafts, and related material regarding Kirkham's activity as a Supreme Court law clerk drafting the "General Order and Rules of Bankruptcy," which was published in 1939.
Received from James Joannides of Pillsbury Madison and Sutro in March 2009.
Processed by Jordon Steele, April 2009.
- University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library
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- Jordon Steele
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