Get to Know Robert W. Bishop

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By Jo Mathis
Legal News

Detroit native Robert W. Bishop grew up in Farmington Hills and is a graduate of Detroit Country Day School.  He earned his B.A. with honor from Michigan State University, and his J.D., cum laude, from MSU College of Law.

After law school, Bishop worked as an associate attorney for his mentor, Jack Berman, where he began his career as a consumer bankruptcy attorney. He has dedicated his legal career to representing clients in bankruptcy related matters; and also has managed bankruptcy operations for two of the largest financial services firms involved with debt purchase and collection. 

Bishop is managing partner of Bishop Law Offices, a consumer bankruptcy firm focused solely on representing clients in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. He is licensed to practice in the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, and is a member of the Consumer Bankruptcy Association (Eastern District of Michigan), the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, and the American Bankruptcy Institute. He has been a speaker at various bankruptcy related programs, including the Hon. Steven W. Rhodes Consumer Bankruptcy Conference held annually in the Detroit area. 

Bishop lives in Grosse Pointe Park with his wife Elle, son Will, and daughter Clare. 

When you were considering law school, what was Plan B? My undergraduate degree was in Supply Chain Management. Before law school, I worked briefly as a corporate buyer for a large steel company in Detroit, and had I not attended law school, I would have continued in that field and pursued my MBA.

What inspired you to enter the legal field? I am a third-generation lawyer. My father and grandfather were both members of the State Bar of Michigan, my grandfather being a member for more than 50 years. It’s been an honor to continue that tradition.

What is your proudest moment as a lawyer?
Every time I file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to save a client’s home. Most of my clients have suffered an unforeseen setback that has negatively affected their lives. They are left feeling hopeless. Helping people fix their problems and get their lives back on track is very rewarding.

What would surprise people about your job?
That bankruptcy is about more than just cancelling debt. Most of my clients would prefer to repay their debt through a Chapter 13 repayment plan, rather than just cancelling debt through a Chapter 7. In some cases, clients are able to fully repay their debt in a Chapter 13 case, which would have otherwise been impossible to accomplish outside of bankruptcy. 

Can you think of a failure that ultimately became a positive?
My first semester of law school was challenging. I did not perform as well as I would have liked. Going into my second semester, I revaluated how I was studying. After making necessary changes, my experience improved greatly. Sometimes you have to take a step back and reevaluate your processes. As a business owner, this lesson has been invaluable as I continuously improve the efficiency of my office.

Favorite local hangouts? Country Club of Detroit.

Favorite websites? Google.com, Zillow.com, Tripadvisor.com.

At what do you secretly excel? I’m a fairly decent foosball player. I enjoy playing with my son and teaching him the tricks I learned while playing in college. 

What do you wish someone would invent? Flying cars would be nice. 

What has been your favorite year so far? My favorite year is always the year to come. I am always looking forward to what’s next. 

Favorite stamps on your passport? Nevis, British West Indies, where my wife and I spent our honeymoon, and a recent family trip to Italy, France, and Spain. 

If you could have witnessed any event in history, what would it be? To see Arnold Palmer win the 1954 Amateur Championship at the Country Club of Detroit. To have witnessed such a historic victory that launched the career of the great Arnold Palmer would have been a moment I would never forget. 

What is one thing you would like to learn to do? Speak a second language. The more I travel, the more I realize the value of being bilingual.

What is the best advice you ever received? Always be the hardest working person in the room. 

What purchase of $50 or less has most positively affected your life? My umbrella. Spending the day in court after walking in the rain without an umbrella is not ideal.

What are you looking forward to?
To continuing to grow my law practice while providing an exceptional experience for my clients. 


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